Intro to Networked Collaboration

Arielle- Assignment #1

I didn’t realize that I posted this in my weblog instead of the weblog for our class.. so lets try this again..

* In the Henry Jenkins reading, he is quoted as saying “YouTube is the fullest embodiment of convergence culture.” What is meant by that?

Today technology is ever-changing and we can see that in media convergence. It gives us the opportunity to use technology in more ways than one. Some examples are internet blogs, texting, myspace, facebook, and youtube. When Henry Jenkins states that “YouTube is the fullest embodiment of convergence culture” I believe all he is saying is that it’s the primary example of how convergence culture has been changing. Youtube is becoming increasingly popular these days and the videos are being seen worldwide. With the click of a button you can watch just about any video you can think of. What is unique about youtube is that the videos are created by everyone and anyone. It is made by the people and for the people.
It has a lot to do with convergence culture because our society has been changing by the creation of these new websites. We interact through these pages in a way that has never been done before. The more we use them, the more popular they become. This is changing the way we interact as we know it.
The most recent example I can think of from my life is when I looked up a Jewish A Capella group that I auditioned for. I knew absolutely NOTHING about this group besides that they sing Jewish music. It took me about 5 minutes to find videos of their group on youtube and watch them. I found this really helpful for me because it gave me more of an idea of what to expect. It also helped me decide if it was something I really wanted to get into. Youtube makes these types of discoveries so easy. It makes me wonder how we did things before these sites were created. I can compare this example to the example Jenkins gave about the videos of American sign language. I actually used those videos myself to learn some sign language for a show that I’m doing. I am a deaf person in one of the scenes and my director wanted my sign language to be authentic. This is another perfect example of how easy it is to get information from these online videos.

* What is “participatory culture”?

Participatory culture basically refers to how we are not only the viewers and consumers, but we are also the creators. All of these new websites are perfect examples of a participatory culture. In the online journals, we read the entries of others and also create our own. It is as if we have our own web page. Myspace and facebooks are also great examples. Whenever someone asks me if I have my own site, I give them my facebook information. I became fascinated in making web pages when these technologies arose. Most people are loving the fact that they have their own web site that people can visit. I believe that it makes one feel more important.
Youtube makes movie-making a lot easier than it once was. It also gives you publicity because anyone can view it. I’ve seen many original movies on youtube and many people have become famous from this website. It used to be that people did not know how to publicize their own videos and now, it’s not a problem. Everyone knows about “Kelly likes shoes.” It’s an original video that became increasingly popular to watch. After some time, the creator made more of his own videos and is now a famous celebrity.

* What are some of the social networks you use and why do you use them?

I use many of the social networks provided for us today. I first had a xanga which was only for writing online journal entries. I thought of it as my online diary. I knew it wasn’t the best idea to display intimate thoughts of mine online. However, it became so popular that I didn’t care anymore and I found myself reading other xangas as well. It was like a game to me. At the same time I began using myspace which was about 4 years ago because a friend of mine got me started. I had no idea what it was in the beginning, but when I made my own account and started to add friends to my list, it became addictive. Slowly more and more people created their own myspace account and it seemed like a great way to keep in touch with people. Little did I know at the time that facebook was catching up to myspace. At first, facebook was only for college students. This is why I didn’t get it right away. However, I immediately created an account when I started college. Facebook never used to be my preferred choice between the two. However, it is now more popular than myspace in my opinion and more user friendly.
Although I still have my myspace and now have a music myspace as well to promote my singing, I use facebook more than any other social network these days. The main reasons why I use it is because I have kept in touch with a great amount of people through facebook, I have a place to post my pictures, and it entertains me whenever I am bored. I do find it a little “stalker-ish” because of the new “facebook feeds.” These can give you every little detail about what a friend is up to. I was shocked when this first came out. But, the privacy options are really helpful when it comes to that. I can show whoever I want as much or as little as I want.

* How have technologies like sms/text messaging, youtube, and myspace changed the way that we interact? (i.e., as mentioned in the Rheingold reading – the role of “Generation Txt” in the revolt against President Estrada of the Philippines, etc.) Reference either of the readings and/or draw from your own experiences.

There are so many new ways that we communicate these days. When I meet someone new I make sure to add them on facebook. Whereas only a few years ago no one had these technological luxuries. Like in the Rheingold reading, I feel that texting has reached one of its highest points. I was baffled when he quoted Tammy Reyes saying that she feels unloved when she doesn’t get a certain amount of texts. I text a lot personally, however, I hate when people text me just because they want to say “Hi” or “What’s up.” If you are going to text me, do it for a reason! Although I think her way of thinking about it is a little extreme, I can still relate to her because I communicate with people through these new technologies quite often in a day. I agree that it can make someone feel like they are more loved when a lot of people are talking to them. But what happened to those days when we didn’t have them? What happened to the days when I had to make a phone call to hang out with someone? What happened to the days when I didn’t know all the details about someone’s life? People have changed because getting in touch with someone is as easy as clicking a button. This changes the way one would interact with someone face to face. We get so used to sitting behind the computer that we don’t remember how to make a simple phone call. I know people who will seem outgoing when Iming them on AIM and then they seem like a completely different person when talking to them face to face.
Even though I believe that a lot of good is coming out of these technologies, it is dangerous and we have to be careful with how far we go with it. Either way it is something that continues to grow in our society and the way I see it, it will continue growing because we have entered a new generation of texts and web pages.

Hope that worked!

~REL~

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September 9, 2008 - Posted by | convergence, social networking, tools and methodologies | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I would like to add to my post:

    I had my first lesson for my Music as Communication class yesterday and she showed us videos from youtube. She stated that it is easy to use, does its job, and it’s free.

    I found this really interesting since we are talking about it in this class.
    It was a great example of how youtube is a learning tool.

    Comment by isrellyrel | September 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. I like youtube too but I noticed that every time I uploaded a video, it lost resolution and ended up looking gritty. The sound would also get scratchy and sound horrible.

    Not sure if there is a right way to this. Would love to find out if there is.

    Comment by ayvak | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. rel – yes, youtube has certainly become a common teaching tool. In fact, every teacher I know has used it at one time or another.
    ayvak – try using blip.tv – the resolution is significantly better, it lets you upload larger files, plus it allows download of files in multiple formats. Otherwise, if you do want to stick with youtube, then you usually have to increase the contrast to account for the loss of contrast and resolution upon upload to youtube.

    Comment by funksoup | September 11, 2008 | Reply


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