Blog 11 – Response

wordle

As I move forward with the new knowledge of this course, the three areas that stand out are the ability to be producers, techno-trash and the language of social media, ie “memes”

It was interesting to see the timeline in which our roles as consumers transformed into producers. Especially noting that producing had been going on before the Internet with “remixes” and mashups” the transformation seemed logical. As our lives in the offline world are determined by the technology that becomes available, it makes sense that the same would happen with the online world. I have realized how much my use as a producer has on the community of those I associate with. I want to keep abreast of the ways our roles change and become a responsible producer that benefits me and those that I teach.

Never had I taken into consideration the techno-trash that has accumulated at my house or in the world for that matter as a serious environmental problem. I was shocked and somewhat embarrassed to be ignorant of the dumping in other countries. In the future, when my technological devise becomes obsolete, I will think twice before I need to replace it, especially if my devise is still working. Secondly, I hope to be more proactive when disposing of my technology and find an environmentally responsible way to rid of it. Lastly, I will be an advocate for the reduction of techno-trash and make family and friends aware of the implications on the world.

My favourite session was the Language of Social Media. I had no idea what a “meme” was and enjoyed the readings about the history and language of “memes”. The history of the term amazed me and proved how words, facts, definitions and concepts evolve from user to user; generation to generation or offline to online. I like the fact that I can make a “meme” that is relevant to what I would like to express and I have started to use them to encourage students when the term gets stressful.

As I continue to use media for work and play, I now have the skills, knowledge and awareness to seek out the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet. I will continue to leave a positive digital footprint.

Blog 10 – Response

Our Online or Offline Life: Is There a Difference?

Hargittai and Boyd clearly express, empirically and theoretically respectively, that equal access does not result in digital equality. Hargittai is focused on the socioecononmic status and Boyd the racial status. Both articles conclude there are digital inequalities online similar to our offline lives.

Whenever addressing or exploring the barriers of socioeconomic status, my immediate reaction is, “how is that possible?” I grew up in a compromised socioeconmomic status and I have always surmised that I am not compromised…are there not genetics and environmental implications too? How about peer pressure or association? But when I read Hargittai’s empirical evidence and reflect seriously, it’s a reality; a compromised socioeconomic status does create digital inequalities. What Hargittai describes as the digital divide online is a real concern, not only for the inequalities but in the way it further divides and alienates the disadvantaged, whether they are the housewife with little time for access or the digital native with a low socioeconomic status. The Internet is confirming and reinforcing the barriers that already occur in the offline world. In Boyd’s article, she quotes Hillary Clinton, “The internet can serve as a great equalizer. By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunity where none exists.” People need access and the ability to know how to use it before an opportunity can exist. Clinton should have said, “Education is the great equalizer. By providing people with access to education, it will create opportunity where none exists.”

I agree with Hargittai, the barriers of having a low socioeconomic status and minimal education have proven to “replicate” or even “amplify” the barriers to access and the productive use of the Internet.

Learners enrolled in online classes are faced with many challenges. It could be due to the digital inequalities discussed by Hargittai and Boyd. Hargittai writes about gender issues. Most would assume that the convenience of online will fit into the commitments of a woman’s family life because of the freedom of participation. However, “Hargittai and Shafer (2006) noted, among other things, that because of their larger share of household and child-rearing responsibilities, women have less leisure time for using the computer and browsing the Web suggesting that gender inequalities in Internet use remain even once we control for basic access differences.” Then, Hargittai cites, “Analyzing data from a national sample of Internet users, these authors found that those with a college degree or more were more likely to seek health information, engage in financial transactions, research and look for job information, and get news than those with lower levels of education.” This is certainly a barrier for those that may want to participate in online learning. An article by Rowntree (1995) describes the necessary literacy skills for online class success, that if lacking will cause a learner to drop out:

the ability to read messages from others and formulate appropriate responses: to read complex, sometimes lengthy passages, take notes, and create summaries of the information studied in a clear and succinct manner: communicate ideas and views and give an indication of one’s own expressed feeling in a textual medium, where the face to face contact is not available: to respond to other’s ideas and support, build on, modify, challenge, question. (p. 213)

More recently, Simmons and Simmons (2012) also reported that, “computer self-efficacy and task-technology fit are antecedents to trust in learning artifacts and impact student learning satisfaction and perceived learning outcomes” (p. 126).

 

I am sure there will be more evidence to come on the digital inequalities of the Internet, whether it is access or the type of use. Hargittai and Boyd, and might I add they are women, make very scientific and credible parallels between our online and offline lives.

References (outside of the readings)

Rowntree, D. (1995). Teaching and learning online: A correspondence education for the 21st century? British Journal of Education Technology, 26(3), 205-215.

Simmons, L. L., & Simmons, C. B. (2012). A good fit: Increasing online learner outcomes and satisfaction. Review of Business Research, 12(4), 121-128.

Blog 9 – Response

Wikipedian: Deletionist or Inclusionist?

Wikipedia; who knew there was so much animosity about one of the most famous Internet institutions? That is how Tim Davenport solidified my position on the opposite side of the debate. Let me explain. First of all, I don’t imagine the everyday regular Internet user even realizes that they can go into Wikipedia to add or edit any of the pages available. I know I didn’t until last December. While completing a weekly activity we were challenged to go onto Wikipedia and edit a page. Crazy I thought, but why not give it a try. I found the page on the definition of a dental hygienist. Under the Canadian information paragraph, I made some corrections and added some information about the National Board Exam. Lo and behold, it is still there 3 months later.

Prior to the readings, I believe I was a deletionist. I agree and relate with Ford’s description of, “The so- called ‘deletionists’ against the ‘inclusionists’ – those who thought the encyclopedia should retain a certain quality, necessitating strict editorial control, versus those who thought that Wikipedia’s goal is much broader and more global than other encyclopaedias” (p. 258). There was no question in my mind that this statement reflected my personal thoughts of how Wikipedia should be run. It was important to have knowledgeable editors verifying and deciding on the quality of information on the site. Dental hygiene is a serious, regulated, healthcare profession and its information on the Wikipedia site needed to be firmly monitored so as not to misrepresent the high standards we abide by. I was disturbed to see that the previous information about Canadian dental hygienists was incorrect and wondered why Wikipedia didn’t correct it sooner. However as I began to read more about the culture of participation Wikipedia was enforcing on its free to be editors, my position began to wane.

It started to become clear to me that the “institution” of Wikipedia had a culture of its own, elitists. This was obvious and a wee bit scary when Carr sites Daniel Pink of Wired, in a 2003 article on how he describes Wikipedia to a “power pyramid”. Pink (2003) starts to list the contributors from the bottom up and he paints us a perfect picture of a pyramid scheme with Wales standing alone at the top; the owner of the pyramid. The king of the castle. More aptly described as the mythological God Zeus at the top of Mount Olympus. What does Carr say; bury the myth? Then I read about an article praising Wales. Time magazine (2006) got it wrong when they wrote about the people transforming the world, “Today Wales is celebrated as a champion of Internet-enabled egalitarianism”. I don’t want to use information that is dictated and controlled, this is communism not egalitarianism. We are being blinded by this Gods shiny armour as to the real rules and goings on with Wikipedia. Even Wikipedia’s About page says, “The Wikipedia community has developed many policies and guidelines to improve the encyclopedia; however, it is not a formal requirement to be familiar with them before contributing”. This is not a community but rather a group of deletion elitists that are controlling your knowledge before you even contribute.

Tim Davenport solidifies my decision to side with the inclusionists when he so arrogantly has the audacity to compare Wikipedia and its growth to the history of governments or commercial institutions. He concludes snobbishly by saying, “Wikipedia is not immune to the phenomenon of bureaucratization; indeed, it is a bureaucratic infant. It is foolish to imagine that such a tendency can be halted, even if its decision-makers were consciously committed to stopping it”. I won’t sell out to the controllers of the Internet; I will strive to be included in the freedom to participate. I am on the inclusionists side!

Blog 8 – Response

Facebook’s Success: Fact or Fiction.

 Gehl presents a great argument here. He gives his own reasons for quitting but he uses the opinions and thoughts, not evidenced-based as he indicates, of a very few bloggers. His argument is one-sided. He couldn’t produce the numbers that Facebook does to support his argument. His argument is common sense. The average user of the platform Facebook all agree. Gehl isn’t stating anything we didn’t already know. What Gehl is forgetting to mention, or maybe not even realizing is the era in which Facebook lives. This is an important part of the equation and Gehl fails to even recognize it. If Facebook was born during the time of MySpace, and vice a versa, Gehl would be writing about “Why I Left MySpace” or any other Web 1.0 platform at that time.

What we have to remember here is that Facebook is living during a time when the consumer has changed to producer. We are on the verge of Web 3.0 tools. The digital environment is different now than in the era of MySpace or AOL. Facebook is living in a time where we incessantly carry our devices everywhere. We have access to the Internet 24/7. With MySpace and AOL or in my kid’s time, MSN chat, when you went to eat, or go to the bathroom, or go to work, or go to bed, you were cut off. The participant’s access was restricted. No wireless and/or data on cell phones or hand held devices. Once you got up from your desktop, it was over.

I agree with everything Gehl is saying, but he forgets to comment on the fact that we can cook supper and check Facebook. We can be at work and check Facebook. We can wait in the doctor’s office and check Facebook. It’s about the freedom of access not the platform. Facebook has been allowed to take advantage of it’s platform due to the access given to the participants.

We are at a time that platforms have the ability as Gehl states that, “Facebook is simply a part – albeit a powerful part – of a conglomeration of social media sites that largely monopolize their respective spheres; these sites are interlinked in an array of protocols, APIs, user activities, and trade associations” (p. 225). If MySpace, AOL or MSN chat had the same type of ability or platform to interlink with other social media sites, if would still be the social media being criticized.

I agree with everything Gehl saying, but it isn’t a critique that myself and other users already lament. Gehl needs to look deeper into why Facebook is one of the ultimate platforms of today. When the next best platform comes along during the introduction of a better way of access, we will see the new Facebook of tomorrow. What’s in a name or owner? It might as well be MySpace; it’s the technological devices that got us here.

Finally, let’s look at the current financials of Facebook. Facebook Investor Relations (2014), “Facebook Reports First Quarter 2014 Results – Revenue was $2.50 billion, up 72% vs. Q1 2013- Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion, up 82% vs. Q1 2013. Free cash flow for the first quarter of 2014 was $922 million. Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them” (Quarterly Report, 2014). You go Mark Zukerberg! I will follow and LIKE you.

Sincerely, Facebook Fan (and the first of my friends to admit it)

Debbie

Creative Assignment 4 – YouTube

Wn. (2013). Live chat, [Online photo].

Izzard and Disney: A Mashup Made in Heaven Part A

In our current digital surroundings, it has become trendy and possibly advantageous to create subversive video mashups. This concept is not new. McIntosh (2012) reveals, “The very first political remixes can be traced back to Russia during the 1920s, when Soviet filmmakers like Esfir Shub began recutting American Hollywood films to give them a sharper class commentary” (para. 2.1). McIntosh (2012) goes on to provide a pre-YouTube chronological timeline, “political remixers relied on community Web portals like the Guerrilla News Network (GNN) and Adbusters to find, share, and discuss remix works, as it was often too expensive for individuals to host video” ( para. 2.5). Moreover, Petersen (2008) comments about subversive creativity, “In general a decentralized system of communication as the Internet, with the low cost of publishing and the ease of violating copyright, creates a situation where subversive thought and creativity can prosper, and especially the system of wealth within the entertainment industry can be broken, by violating copyright” (para. 11). According to Lang (2008) as he writes about the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage, he states, Bruns has coined the term produsage to better describe the current paradigm shift towards user-led forms of collaborative content creation which are proving to have an increasing impact on media, economy, law, social practices, and democracy itself” (produsage, 2007). Thus, in our contemporary digital environment, we evolve to produsage by means of a trouble-free and easy on the pocket medium, YouTube.

One of the most popular topics of mashing is the Disney movies. Many producers of mashups have used the past, Disney movies and the present, specifically Eddie Izzard to create a collection of controversial to hilarious mashups. I’m not sure if Walt Disney is rolling over in his grave but if he is aware of the longevity of his Disney movies I think he would approve. Not only are his movies continuing to be popular in today, but comics and unknown producers are also profiting from such fame.

A popular use of Disney movies is the mashup with the performances of comedian Eddie Izzard.   According to IMDb, Izzard is “Best-known for his cross-dressing stand-up comedy routines”. He has done everything from acting to voiceovers for video games. “Traditionally, Izzard has focused on the creative possibilities of thinking through absurd situations in real time. He also turns much of the attention on himself and his personality, including his cross-dressing (“It is my manifest destiny to wear a dress on all seven continents”). Contemporary popular culture (Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.) is also a frequent subject, brought up both to critique its weaknesses and to enhance his anecdotes´(An Eddie Izzard Fansite), His official website states, “Eddie’s stand up is digressive, surreal and free-associative” (Izzard, 2014).

User, sphinoocipital of YouTube has created many remixes and mashups. More specifically, the user has an array of Disney movies and Eddie Izzard performances. “There’s just something so perfect about seeing wholesome Disney characters bring to life all the sly subversive fun of classic Eddie Izzard bits” (sphinoocipital). Contrary to McIntosh (2012) Sphinoocipital creations of Disney and Izzard are post YouTube. In parallel to McIntosh (2012) many of the Disney movies used by Sphinoocipital are pre YouTube.

Izzard and Disney: A Mashup made in Heaven Part B

Eddie Izzard is a 52 year old stand-up comedian who was born in South Yemen. His credits also include television, movies, stage and voiceovers. “Hailed as the foremost stand up of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion icon. Human” (Izzard, 2014).

Sphinoocipital is a user on YouTube with a lot of uploads to view. This user is imaginative and witty when it comes to subversive mashups. Sphinoocipital, (female or male, not sure) has created six mashups of Disney movies meshed with the clowning around of Eddie Izzard.

In the following mashups created by Sphinoocipital and posted on YouTube, are taken from the comedy feature Dress to Kill (2002). Izzard’s topics range from European history to the growing pains of adolescents. Sphinoocipital has focused on Disney movies and Izzard’s European history skits.

In the interview with Juhasz (2009) with Jenkins, although there is much disdain about YouTube from Juhasz’s students, he concludes with positive comments about YouTube

I am less interested in the fact of who produces, as much as I am how she does so and in what context. I am most interested in media cultures that allow regular people not simply to document their lived experience, not merely to reflect their experience through and to the norms and values of the dominant culture, but to create art and/or opinions about their lives and culture, in the name of a stated goal (of world or self-changing), and to an intended community.

It is interesting to see the context of these mashups by Sphinoocipital. The user is able to mesh the narratives with the movie scenes with finesse. They are seamless. Does this user have a stated goal? Not literally but it seems to be for a community who enjoys the creativity, hilarity and DIY amateur mashups.

Let the fun begin!!

Do You Have A Flag? – Pocahontas.

In the first mashup, “Eddie Izzard get a few visual aids for his classic bit “Do You Have A Flag?” with the help of the cast of Disney’s “Pocahontas” (1995). Chances are this is actually more historically accurate than the original Disney film!” (Sphinoocipital, 2011). In 1998, Eddie Izzard’s comedy act called, “Dressed to Kill” included a vast assortment of jokes including the role of the flag in imperialism. “Izzard jokes about a wide range of topics including…the role of flags in imperialism…” (Video Librarian, 2002, pp. 28-29).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr-Wb8FQ8co&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F&index=2

Cake or Death? – Sleeping Beauty.

In the same comedy routine, Dress to Kill, Izzard mocks the Church of England, specifically fundamentalism. Izzard explains that the Church of England dogma of fundamentalism could not possibly exist because you would be shouting out, “You must have tea and cake with the vicar or you DIE!” and “CAKE OR DEATH?!” The latter phrase has become so well known that it is now the name of an Eddie Izzard fansite (IMDb, 2014). The creator writes, “Some good ol’ Disney magic comes to Eddie Izzard’s classic bit, “Cake or Death” as Church of England is taken over by Maleficent and the Good Fairies from Sleeping Beauty (1959). Perhaps they CAN have extreme points of view!” (Sphinoocipital, 2011).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37ALyR3kwqw&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F&index=2

Covered In Bees-Aladdin

Sphinoocipital (2011) mashes Aladdin and Eddie Izzards routine called “Covered in Bees”. “The ambition and thievery of Aladdin (1992) brings Eddies Izzard’s “Beekeepers” bit to life, as Aladdin finds out how difficult it is to flirt when covered in bees!” (Sphinoocipital, 2011). In 1997, Izzard does a routine called Glorious. This routine follows the bible, starting with the beginning of Genesis to the end, Armageddon. The line that becomes famous from this skit is, “I’m covered in bees”. Of course, Izzard is referring to what a beekeeper would say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAxKY6gKp0Y&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F&index=3

Hitler

In this creative mashup, user Sphinoocipital is intuitive to the meaning of the dialogue of Izzards routine and by meshing the correct parts of the Hunchback, it’s synchronization at its best. “What with their mutual fondness for murdering gypsies and conquering Paris, The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s Frollo seems the perfect casting for Eddie Izzard’s brilliant summary of the life and times of Adolf Hitler. Also with some cameo appearances from other notable mass murderers!” (Sphinoocipital, 2011). Just as creative is the get right to the point fowl language of Izzard in the routine when mocking Hitler and other mass murderers. It’s a touchy topic, but the rawness of his presentation makes it hilarious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMtek9G74Yc&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F&index=6

Criminal Justice – Beauty and the Beast

Part of the Dress to Kill routine Izzard discusses his life, The History, as a Brit and how he ended up in the Americas. He is trying to choose a career with his high school advisor but everything he wants to do he can’t. “Yeah, so, yes, so that was it. There was a spirit of ex-empire, this thing of “things can’t be done,” whereas in America, I thought there was a spirit of “can be done!” The pioneer thing” (Izzard, 2014). The conversation leads into discussing all of the empires of Europe. In his mockery of the empires he talks about Pol Pot. Pot was a Cambodian communist. During the ‘70’s under his dictatorship, 25% of the Cambodian population die due to executions, poor living conditions, forced labour camps and malnutrition. In the mashup, “The cast of Beauty and the Beast (1991) teaches us some valuable lessons about the criminal justice system and mass murderers, as described by Eddie Izzard”. (Sphinoocipital, 2011).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK08nasPCt8&index=4&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F

Tangled bag

Izzard is famous for his comedy style that, “takes the form of rambling, whimsical monologue and self-referential pantomime” (Wikipedia, 2009). In this monologue Izzard rambles on about an unattended bag at a train station. It seems to be an uninteresting situation, but he creates hilarity out of nowhere. Just as clever, is the user, Sphinoocipital to mash the routine with a Disney movie. “The cast of Tangled (2010) has a run-in with some incompetent security when they come across the ominous unattended bag from Eddie Izzard’s reminiscences” (Sphinoocipital, 2011).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J0s0ku0ND0&list=PL08689D2B21976A2F&index=5

References

Petersen, S. M. (2008). Loser generated content: From participation to exploitation. First Monday: Peer Reviewed Journal on the Internet, 13(3). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2141/1948

Prosusage.org (2007). About Axel Bruns. Retrieved from http://produsage.org/about

An Eddie Izzard Fansite. (2014). The man, the myth, the shoes. Retrieved from http://www.auntiemomo.com/cakeordeath/themannew.html

Blog 7 – Response

#Activistism vs. #Slacktivism

twitter-featured1

Levinson (2009) writes about Twitter, “Welcome to the burgeoning world of microblogging,” (p. 133). Microblogging may be a simple and polite way to define the tweets of an egotistical user that feels they need to share they are eating a grilled cheese sandwich. In the world of tweeting, most people are lead to believe they are participating in a significant way. Twitter users believe that what they have to say about themselves in real time is noteworthy. Agree or disagree? Well, Levinson (2009) states that according to The New York Magazine (Leitch, 2009) and The Time Magazine (Johnson, 2009), “there is much that is complex and profound about tweeting” (p. 134).

In the New York Times 2009 the article How Tweet It Is by Will Leitch, discusses his visit with the Twitter “guys”, the culture and the company experience. “These guys are smarter than we were” (Leitch, 2009, para. 3). In 2009, Stone, Twitter’s co-founder, states Twitter is “like a flock of birds choreographed in flight” (Leitch, 2009, para. 7). The article concludes with a profound realization for the reader about the potential mode of critical participation. When Leitch was at the Twitter office for the first time, the Twitter employees were discussing some type of “mumbo-jumbo” (Leitch, 2009, para. 22). Leitch then noticed on the Twitter search that a user named “manolantern” tweeted and posted a picture about a plane that had just crashed into the Hudson River in Manhattan. This user tweeted 15 minutes before the New York Times was even aware. This was Janis Krum, and he was able to get to the plane and lend a helping hand. Leitch (2009) writes,

“His is a culture of sharing information. This is the culture Twitter is counting on. Whatever your thoughts on its ability to exist outside the collapsing economy or its inability (so far) to put a price tag on its services, that’s a real thing. That’s the instinct Stone was talking about. If the nation has tens of millions of people like Krums, that’s a phenomenon. That’s what Twitter is waiting for” (para. 24).

This is the epitome of critical participation afforded to us in a digital media environment.

Digibuzz. (2012, August 8).  Funny Twitter Bots You May Not Have to Block, [Online image].  Retrieved from http://www.digibuzzme.com/funny-twitter-bots-you-may-not-have-to-block/

Digibuzz. (2012, August 8). Funny Twitter Bots You May Not Have to Block, [Online image]. Retrieved from http://www.digibuzzme.com/funny-twitter-bots-you-may-not-have-to-block/

Twitter Bot — You could say it’s a cyber human pretending to be a real person to get in on the action of tweets. In general they are made to boost the followers for a certain brand or companies. There is a Twitter bot site that swears to raise new followers by 1500-3000 per week. Twitter does not keep an eye on content, so these software programs get overlooked (Digibuzz, 2012, para. 2). “However, spammers aside, some of these twitter bots can provide an amusingly unexpected mention in your interactions tab” (Digibuzz, 2012, para. 2). In this context, a Twitter bot can be a form of critical participation. On the other hand, Twitter bots are as annoying as the telemarketers that call us during the dinner hour.

Social Daily. (2014). Hashtag (ab)use [Online picture]. Retrieved from http://in.socialdaily.com/articles/2014/03/25/hashtag-ab-use

Social Daily. (2014). Hashtag (ab)use [Online picture]. Retrieved from http://in.socialdaily.com/articles/2014/03/25/hashtag-ab-use

Hashtags are influential: beneficial and constraining. Brooke Fou­cault Welles, a professor of communication studies blogs, “Hashtag activism is becoming more common, with #BringBackOurGirls and #YesAllWomen specifically garnering a lot of attention recently” (Welles, 2014, para. 1). It gets many people around the world coming together to recognize a world issue. Yet, this brings about the term “slacktivism”. This term, possibly coined by political commentator Dan Carlin, defines the constraints of hashtags. It is not enough that the world is recognizing an issue but there needs to be action. Hashtags get us excited about a cause but can die a quick death due to the constraints of physically helping the cause. Barnaby Feder (2002) of the New York Times cites Barbara Mikkelson who runs www.snopes2.com when describing the term slacktivism, “”the desire people have to do something good without getting out of their chair” (Feder, 2002, para. 13).

 

 

 

 

Blog 6 – Response

MY PLATFORMS ARE KILLING ME!

Superstock. (2014). Foot massage, [Online photo}. Retrieved from https://www.superstock.com/stock-photography/feet%20massage

Superstock. (2014). Foot massage, [Online photo]. Retrieved from https://www.superstock.com/stock-photography/feet%20massage

Similar to the platforms that I used to wear in my younger days, the platforms on the Internet are killing me. Well, a little dramatic but there is a great parallel here. They look great in the store window or on someone else’s feet, they are the latest fad and everyone is wearing them and they are only popular until another platform comes along. Some of these platforms will rise above, no pun intended, the competition, but I will have to upgrade and pay for extra features of an old style platform. Furthermore, participation may be equated to peer pressure. The platforms hurt like hell but everyone else are wearing them so I will suffer the trade-offs.

Not every member must contribute, but all must believe they are free to contribute when ready and that what they contribute will be appropriately valued.

Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture

Although I would like to think of my participation within the digital environment as unique, I am sad to come to the realization it is not.  Just as if I was to quit work tomorrow, the organization will survive without me.  The world will go on.   If I could label my participation I would say I am a minimalist. I like to participate, sparsely and simply.  That’s not to say that I don’t want to participate, but I personally feel that participation on platforms means making a difference or being heard.  Mind you, I continually think, if I don’t go on Facebook daily will the comments, likes, notices, statuses and messages still go on? Well of course they will. But Facebook needs me. They need me to be a participant for their platform to remain viable. Although they don’t really care what I do, they just care that I am a participant. Understanding and recognizing technological determinism, I am just a notch in the belt of the media, and I must conform in order to communicate with my so called friends.  Whether I have something profound to say or I commit social suicide with a girl’s night out picture, (thank god I couldn’t upload pictures in the ‘80’s) Facebook doesn’t care as long as I log in and keep my account active. As Jenkins says, “but all must believe…”

My participation is self-serving. It cannot be quantified.  Participation on platforms equals communication.  It is a two-way street. You need to talk and listen to someone else talking and listening. This is only measured by meaningful and inspirational communication. I am contributing but not really participating. I believe I can only measure my participation if it is meaningful and inspirational, not predetermined, (insert don’t like button here).  Measurable participation occurs by the many committed and knowledgeable bloggers that I have come to follow. That is who I would aspire to be in order to make my participation measurable. (NOW, insert you have a million followers here).

Arts Marketing Association. (2014). AMA Conference, [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.a-m-a.co.uk/page.aspx?id=399

Arts Marketing Association. (2014). AMA Conference, [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.a-m-a.co.uk/page.aspx?id=399

Freedom to participate is subjective for the people formerly known as the audience. I believe I am not restricted by the many free platforms that I can register for, but these platforms will predetermine how I can participate; that is far from being emancipated. I have become a slave of the many platforms available. I suffer with anxiety as I try to ignore the constant push notifications on my smart phone.  I turned off the push notifications from my Gmail account in order to sit down and eat supper in peace. I was having anxiety every time a sound alert or light flash came from my cell phone.  The more platforms I participate in the more I become a slave to the media. Many sites are now asking users to login with Facebook, Twitter or Gmail accounts. If I’m not  careful, and I am quick to click, the new platform has all of my information and the old platform is advertising to the world that I just signed up for a new account. UGH! Where does it stop? I am participating for the media and I don’t even know it. In the words of Roy Orbison, “I am working for the man”.  For these reasons I have become an immeasurable, pensive participant. I am careful, safe, slow, and apprehensive about the many platforms available to me as a digital citizen.

Watts, J. (2013). Overwhelmed by the Internet [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.jonwatts.com/2013/12-peices-of-advice-for-bringing-your-ministry-online/

Watts, J. (2013). Overwhelmed by the Internet [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.jonwatts.com/2013/12-peices-of-advice-for-bringing-your-ministry-online/

So now the question is; do I want to participate on Youtube to complete assignment 4…HELL YA!