How has the Internet Changed Journalism?

After watching the documentary How Facebook Changed The World: The Arab Spring it became apparent that the internet is not just used to share pictures on Instagram, and follow boy bands on Twitter, but it has rapidly become a main source for sharing news, and allowing people in countries such as Egypt connect with richer, more connected countries such as the UK and the US, allowing us to see how different, and corrupt life is for people in these areas.

As social networking site such as Facebook have become a part of everyday life, even in poorer countries such as Egypt – where, according to Daily News Egypt, there are over 16 million Facebook users, meaning the country is ranked 17th worldwide comparing audience sizes (Farid, 2013) – people are now using the internet to share their own views and opinions, share and post news stories, and also create news and protest. Due to Slim Amamou, from Tunisia, posting videos of protest against the government on Facebook – which quickly went viral- as well as the creation of other Facebook pages; 4 governments involved in the Arab Spring were eventually overthrown and people from all over the world have been shown a ‘behind the scenes’ of the corruption in these countries that would never have been brought to our attention without the people who decided that they were going to use the internet as a tool to inform people of the happenings in their country.

 

References:

Facebook. 2011. Arab Spring – Syrian Uprising. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arab-Spring-Syrian-Uprising/131221383622232 [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

Farid, D. 2013. Egypt has the largest number of Facebook users in the Arab world: report. [online] 25th September. Available at: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/25/egypt-has-the-largest-number-of-facebook-users-in-the-arab-world-report/ [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

How FaceBook Changed The World: The Arab Spring. 2011. eSourceVideo. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnPR90dJ3Gk [Accessed 1 Apr 2014]

What makes an online community and do you see yourself belonging to one?

With sites such as Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube becoming more and more popular over the past few years, online communities have started growing rapidly – with online fandoms being created for acts such as One Direction, Justin Bieber, and more recently, YouTubers.

The Web Strategist blog defines an online community as “bodies of people loosely joined together by a common interest that exchange information using web tools” which I think is true for most of the current online communities, such as the One Direction fandom, who use Twitter and Tumblr to create fanpages (some with up to 500,000 followers such as this account), where they will engage with each other, post information about about the band (such as unseen pictures and videos, as well as ‘facts’ they are aware of). These kinds of pages are used also to attract the bands attention and gain ‘follows’ from the members, which is interaction that fans would never have been able to have before Twitter became such a popular site.

I personally do see myself belonging in an online community as I watch a lot of YouTubers, who I am subscribed to on YouTube, but I also follow on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, as well as following other people who are interested in them, too. I feel like by using all of these websites to connect with the particular YouTuber, viewers feeling more included and feel as if they know the YouTuber on a personal level, meaning their interest in the person and their videos stays for longer as we are receiving more than just a video once a week.

 

References:

Owyang, J. 2007. Defining The Term: “Online Community”. Web-Strategist, [blog] 28th December, Available at: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/12/28/defining-the-term-community/ [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

Twitter.com. n.d. One Direction Fans (1DirectionFans) on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/1DirectionFans [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014].

How have mobile medias shaped participatory culture?

Due to such huge advancements in mobile media, participatory culture is growing rapidly, due to everyone being able to access the same media instantly, via their mobile phones, using mobile data, 3G, 4G, and WiFi.

The smart phone app, Instagram is extremely useful for allowing your content to be seen by people from all over the world. When people post a picture to this site, the use of hashtags in the description of the picture means that people with relevant interests are likely to see your picture even if they don’t follow you, meaning it is accessible to everybody. Youtuber, Sam Pepper, produced the video below where he searched a hashtag on Instagram, and then by using the information he discovered about people from their profiles, pretended they had met before.

Just by people playing an active role in online media, we are sharing enough information about ourselves for people we have never met before to engage in a conversation with us about ourselves, meaning that mobile medias have allowed us to become involved in other peoples lives, no matter where they live, how old they are, or how different their lifestyles are, just by using these kinds of apps and websites.

I also posted a photo onto my Instagram page that I had taken at University, showing that although I may not think that I play a big part in participatory culture, I was sharing an image from my day with millions of people just by a few clicks on my mobile phone:

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Worcester University Elections (2014)

 

By uploading this picture to Instagram, people can clearly see that I am at Worcester University as it is written on the picture, and just by doing this people from across the world can already find out personal information about me, even though we have never met.

 

References:

Panter, C. 2014. Worcester University Elections. Photograph. Worcester.

Picking Up Girls Using Instagram. 2014. Los Angeles: Sam Pepper. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDZXzpiQ_ME [Accessed: 1 Apr 2014]

Web 3.0

Source 1: Website

”To many, web 3.0 is something called the Semantic Web, a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee… In essence, the Semantic Web is a place where machines can read web pages as much as humans read them, a place where search engines and software agents can better troll the net and find what we’re looking for.’

Metz, C. 2007. Web 3.0. [online] Available at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2102852,00.asp [Accessed: 11 Mar 2014].

I found this source by doing a basic Google search, typing in ”web 3.0 definitions.” Out of the many websites that came up, I felt that this website provided me with the most in depth information that was easy to understand. I used a basic search instead of Google Scholar as I wanted to be provided with a basic understanding of the term ‘web 3.0’ before I found more academic sources. 

Source 2: Report

”At the WWW2006 conference in Edinburgh, when asked by TechWatch about the likely characteristics of ‘Web 3.0’, Tim Berners-Lee stated that he believes that the next steps are likely to involve the integration of high-powered graphics (Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVG) and that underlying these graphics will be semantic data, obtained from the RDF Web, that ‘huge data space’. A focus on visualisation is also evident elsewhere: Ted Nelson, the inventor of hypertext, is working on FloatingWorld: a system for displaying documents, including the links between them, in three dimensions.”

Anderson, P. 2007. What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. [report] p. 52.

I found this source through using Google Scholar, as once I had found a basic definition of ‘Web 3.0’ I found this report useful to find more information about the term, which could be considered more academic and more technical, as Anderson uses more technical terms such as Scalable Vector Graphics, which people without knowledge of this specific topic may not understand. 

Source 3: Newspaper Article

“”Many people keep asking what web 3.0 is.” Berners-Lee said. ”I think it may be when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics – everything rippling and folding and looking misty.””

Shannon, V. 2006. A ‘more revolutionary’ Web. New York Times, 23rd May.

I found this article by searching on reliable newspaper websites and archives, until I came across a few articles which discussed Web 3.0. I chose to use this specific article as it included direct quotes from Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the internet, which suggests that the definition of the term ‘web 3.0’ used in this article is as accurate as we can be provided with.

‘Old’ vs ‘New’ Media

Old media is typically the more traditional methods of communicating with the world, for example, newspapers, handwritten letters, books and chalkboards. As globalisation is occurring and our world is become more and more connected and reliant on technology these ‘old’ forms of media are being used less and less frequently.

Replacing the ‘old’ media in our world today is ‘new’ media – things such as Skype, Kindles, tablets and social networking sites – which are all used to make general day-to-date life a lot simpler.

One example of ‘old’ vs ‘new’ media is the hand written letter, to sending emails, to using Skype.  We have transitioned from having to spend a fair amount of time personally handwriting a letter on paper – which takes a few days to be delivered and then a few days to receive a reply – to being able to quickly type an email out, which is more cost effective and we can receive instant replies. Due to modern technology we can now go one step further, and we no longer have to spend time or energy typing emails, we can now just talk to people through a screen, where we can now personally hear and see the other person.