May 3, 2010 Comments Off
In this weeks readings, Keen describes the negative effects the Internet has on our culture while Burgess and Green describe the positive and negative implications of YouTube.
Youtube allows for the circulation and reception of context and allows works to reacher a larger public. YouTube is referenced by mass media often and is deployed or loved. Burgess and Green describe how YouTube is unfair since people have “uneven access to the means of participation and … many are discouraged from even trying” (pg. 124). Although anybody can post a video, not everyone will have interest in looking at it. Visitors tend to only look at the most visible content – the suggested videos, favorites ect. -, especially if they have no interest in the topics or communities involved. This means that certain groups of people are not able to express their opinion to as many viewers as others. Professor Tepper brings up the point that those “who have the education, skills, financial resources, and time required to navigate the sea of cultural choice will gain access to new cultural opportunities… [while those] who have few resources – less time, less money, and less knowledge about how to navigate the cultural system – will increasingly rely on the cultural fare offered to them by consolidated media and entertainment conglomerates.” This goes back to the digital divide, those will the capability to access will benefit much greater than others.
Youtube videos can be easily ported by copying and pasting a code. This allows videos “to be inserted into diverse cultural economies and social ecologies.” People can put a YouTube video on their website allowing users to view the content they are reading about. I’ve had many YouTube videos posted on my Facebook wall which have allowed user to share in depth topics conveniently to me. The uncontrolled flow of media content on YouTube allows for the corrupting or the intensifying of a message or cause. Burgess and Green state how users remix footage of television programs to music and can parody it or intensify the emotional experience of the original, “taking us deeper into the thoughts and feeling of central characters.”
Keen states that as the amount of blogs increase, the abundance of information and opinions on these blogs will collectively corrupt and confuse “popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture” (pg. 3). Anything can be publised online; “uniformed political comentary, … to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels.” The Internet has the potential to give people inaccurate information. The growing population of those who do not know what a good news source is will pull their information from random searches on google and blogs. Keen states how kids can’t tell the difference between credible news and news posted on blogs. As more information is posted, it will be harder to find credible news and inaccurately informed users could increase and confusion could worsen.
Wikipedia allows anyone to publicize anything and edit/rewrite other entries to their liking. Wikipedia “has no reporters, no editorial staff, and no experience in news-gathering” but it is the third most visited site for informatioin and current events. I must say I have used Wikipedia many times for my main information source. It is a bit frightening that I could go on and change a page about a topic I have no idea about. I found it disturbing how Burgess and Green stated how companies will search for their wikipedia pages and pull information from them that make them look bad. In a way these pages are all biased viewed and have the possibility of being extremely inaccurate.
Social networking sites allow individuals to narcissistically broadcast themselves. “Rather than using [the internet] to seek news, information, or culture, we use it to actually BE the news, the information, or culture. Keen states how “social networking” on this sites is false, as these site are used for personal attention. In a way this is quite accurate. I feel that most people use Facebook for attention. They post pictures, comment on other’s walls in the hopes of those other’s commenting back. Users tend to spend a lot of time on social networking sites and will even get their news source from them. Users of a site called Reddit get their new source from the site’s top twenty “hot” stories. Instead of actual current events being a “hot” story, pop culture/useless information is displayed. While one can read a story about the “walking habits of elephants” there is no news relating to “Isreal, Lebanon or Hezbollah.” “It makes a mockery of traditional news media an dturns current events into a childish game of Trivial Pursuit.” These websites are more interested in entertaining us instead of informing us about the world. Our culture could possibility get more narcissistic and unaware of current events as the Internet becomes integrated in our lives. I am interested to see if future generations will even know what a news site is, let alone a newspaper.