In the Year 3000…

iMattHunter's Blog

Final Exam – The New Media Landscape May 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — matthunter8 @ 12:43 am

Robert McChesney:

As we enter this new media landscape, Robert McChesney is most concerned with the future of journalism.  There are a lot of factors that have transformed the news field into an industry in which we cannot truly rely on for accurate, professional and unbiased content.

One of the issues in the decline of journalism comes from the pressure of the market.  A lot of these news industries have outside entities feeding them money to fund their work and as a result, the news has become goal oriented or politically driven to satisfy these outside groups.

The lack of quality content has given rise to citizen journalism and how the Internet can shape the shifting digital news era.  When do we trust the content on a blog and when do we not trust it?  Blogs can be a great source for opinions, but how do measure the validity and quality of their reporting?  The Internet is a useful place for continuous dialogue, but it is unlikely to return journalism back to its original, dependable form.  The push must come from the audience to demand better quality news.

Ken Auletta:

Everyone uses and talks about Google, but few people understand the depth and complexities of the company like Ken Auletta.  With his recent book Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, Auletta points out the successes and positives of Google, but also discusses the issues of privacy and open source content.

We rely on Google for so many things in our lives, and most of those things come at no cost.  But are they really free?  People give up loads and loads of personal information to use Google’s tools.  “Don’t be Evil” is Google’s company motto, and we must hope they follow this saying with all the possible concerns with privacy.  In addition to privacy, Google’s launch of Google books also raises questions about open source content.  Can we trust Google with all this control and potential power?  Google has been on top of the market for sometime, but what will happen when another force comes onto the scene like a Facebook to challenge Google?  Will Google use all its power, at all costs, to stay on top?  In Google, we trust.

Daniel Solove:

The Internet does not go to sleep.  Information can be accessed and sent out at all times of the day.  The content we allow to be housed on the Internet, as well as the information we do not allow, can greatly affect our digital and non-digital lives.

Daniel Solove belives that one of the most pressing concerns of the new media landscape will be how we deal with the new environment of reputation on the Internet.  Keeping your reputation respectable has always been a part of our lives, but the rapid pace of the Internet has made it more and more difficult to manage.  The societal norms have shifted in how we deal with gossip, rumors and other hurtful tactics and it is up to us to police a new standard in dealing with this new direction.

Jonathan Zittrain:

The foundation of the Internet is based on the principles of creativity, freedom, openness and collaboration to name a few.  However, according to Jonathan Zittrain, the Internet as well as most technology seem to be losing these characteristics by heading towards a more non-generative approach.  In a non-generative environment, the ability to alter, collaborate and manipulate information is lost.  The initial content released on the Internet will not have the capability of being changed and as a result, we will be forced to accept the information and views of a primary source.

In order to hold onto these original principles of the Internet, we must continue to produce generative ideas and products.  Some of the world’s greatest inventions and ideas have spawned from generative concepts.  If we restrict the Internet’s collaboration, then what will happen to our culture as a result?  While non-generative tools can be helpful at certain times, the overall foundation must remain generative.  It is imperative to keep this generative practice at the heart of the Internet and protect it all costs.

McChesney critique:

McChesney makes some valid remarks on the future state of journalism.  One way we could get rid of the outside pressures from the money backers would be to implement some federal subsidies.  This would also release the news group to from having to survive in the open market on their own.  The government would make it unknown about where the money had come from and the news organizations the need the money the most would receive the grant.  But how would we determine what news group would receive the money? Maybe viewership/readership can determine who gets the assistance and who doesn’t.

The everyday blogger McChesney is hesitant to back would not be on the money side of the federal subsidy.  As far as I am concerned, when it comes to citizen journalism I think the best place for it is only with breaking news.  News outlets cannot be everywhere all the time, they do not have the money or the time.  And with most people nowadays having cameras and the Internet on their phones, these news groups have to use their resources to be up to the minute.

When it comes to gaining further, differing opinions on basic news events, then that is when I turn to the Blogging world.  These bloggers do not have that much incentive to go and check their sources and do additional research, but I do not look for that in a blogger.  I would never want the CNNs and BBCs of the world citing the minions of the blogosphere.

McChesney places the future of journalism in the hands of the audience.  He points out that there has been a shift to entertainment as news because the audience has demanded this type of news.  The news industry has capitalized on this new form of news, but they may have gone over the top with the celebrity news trend.  While I think celebrity news can be important, we must not also lose sight of the important news stories from around the world.  There is a difference between news as entertainment and making news entertaining.  I think we have to make news entertaining for the younger generations if you want them to be interested.  We can do this by implementing new technologies and leveraging the Internet to reach these growing and shifting audiences.  The future of journalism is partly in the hands of the audience, but it also falls on the shoulders of the news organizations too.


Solove critique:

The Internet is a double-edged sword.  It can be the cornerstone of a successful marketing campaign and it can be the medium that releases a damageable video about one’s self.  One of the main problems of this progressive, rapid Internet is some believe we have to find a way to police and regulate what content belongs on the Internet to protect the privacy of our society.

I think this might be too bold of a move and would step on the toes of Zittrain’s argument of a generative Internet.  The responsibility of protecting one’s privacy and reputation should fall solely in the hands of the individual.  If you are going to praise the Internet for all its abilities to find and send out information, then you also have to be able to take the negative sides of it.  Bullying and gossip have been a part of our lives for a long time, but what makes the Internet a special case is that it provides attackers with anonymity.  This just means we have to be more careful with our actions and use of the Internet.  Protecting one’s self goes beyond simply putting certain pictures online or changing your privacy settings on Facebook.  It reaches how you carry yourself in your everyday lives.  Anything and everything you do could potentially reach the Internet and you have to be aware of this potential when you make your typically, daily decisions.  There are some things that will find its way to the Internet even with the strictest of privacy settings and people must understand that this comes with the territory when we rely on the Internet like we do.

I understand the Internet can spread and reshape information about people.  It is a whole lot meaner and less forgiving than other types of media.  But on the other hand, the Internet also allows people to respond to criticism and false accusations unlike any other media before its time.  The Internet can bite you in the rear, but it can also save your rear by giving you an equal voice to respond.  In the past, if you were attacked in a local newspaper or television show you would not have the chance to defend yourself like you can on the Internet.   

 

Books Books Books May 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — matthunter8 @ 5:49 pm

This is the last stand for books.  With everything moving to the Internet, how do we make reading accessible and fun for kids and even adults?

Wikipedia might have an answer by allowing users to create their own books from the information on their website.  By making users creators/editors of their own content, it opens up a new realm of books.  All content is making the move to the Internet, but this allows users the ability to take a step back and remove and gain information from the Internet in a non-digital form.

This idea has its advantages and disadvantages, and frankly, I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

You can make a personal, non-digital wiki from wikipedia however you like.  The title, cover photo, page length and chapter organization is all customizable; however, the more pages you use, the more expensive the book.

So when would be a good time for a wikipedia book?  How about for you your next vacation?  You could make your own travel book with tourist spots, food locations, shows and history of the area.  You could also create your own book for your next research paper or test.  Sure it would only be a start for your research and studying, but it would be a great starting point.

Let’s not limit it to students though.  Teachers could create their own textbooks.  How many times have you purchased a huge, expensive textbook and your class only gets through about half of it?  Teachers could weed out the sections they don’t want and could crank out a textbook of 100 pages for $9.

And did I mention you don’t need a power cord for this resource?  Sure, these advantages mean nothing if the content on Wikipedia is useless and untrustworthy.  So let’s keep it useful and trustworthy, please.

Some of the disadvantages?  One, it’s not updatable.  And two, people cannot contribute to it. Well, a Wikipedia book is obviously not readily updatable like the website, but if you are willing to make a book then do you really need it to be updatable?  The whole point of this tactic is the personal customization for a user to create their own book.

So is this the last stand for books?  Does allowing created content make books more intriguing?  I think it can be very successful and useful, but it only creates a small niche in the booking industry.  The future of books fall into the hands of the Kindle and more so, the iPad.  I was reluctant to go along with the push for books to the Web and other digital devices, but if books are going to be like this on the iPad…

…then count me in.  I still like the idea of pulling information from the Internet and creating your own book.  Call me a Renaissance man, but I think it’s a great idea.  I always wanted to write a book (might be a stretch though).

 

Honda Crosstour vs iPhone slip April 26, 2010

Filed under: 1 — matthunter8 @ 3:21 am

Before a company jumps into social media, it must make sure it has a strategy. This strategy must be more than a way to simply engage in conversation. In order to have a successful social media strategy, a company must implement a social media plan within a larger strategy. A social media strategy cannot stand alone. It must provide and drive value for the bigger picture.

Today, our class developed a “Social Media Best Practices” list. This list incuded…

1. Be transparent.

2. Be honest.

3. Do not bribe, threaten or manipulate in order to alter online content like posts, comments or blogs.

4. Disclose resources and tools, especially in the case of user reviews.

5. Know your audience and appropriate channels of communication.

6. Avoid making negative comments about the organization in your public and private social media presence.

7. Do not control the conversation.

8. Disclose your identity at all times. If you are going to speak under someone else’s name, disclose your own identity.

While all practices are important, the third practice got me thinking about successful social media strategies.

An example was used in class showing Honda’s questionable social media practices. Honda posted new pictures on Facebook about their upcoming new car release. After receiving hundreds of negative reviews and comments, a Honda representative, acting as a regular customer, posted a positive comment about the car. The Honda poster was quickly revealed and the new release took a huge hit because of the controversial, dishonest post.

This manipulation definitely hurt Honda’s reputation, but does this type of action always hurt a company?  Call me a conspiracy nut, but I think Apple just successfully pulled off this similar trick last week with their “accidental,” new ipod slip.  I think the forgetfulness was on purpose, and it has worked very well for Apple.  It has caused a lot of buzz about their new iphone on the social networks.  Call it dishonest.  Call it manipulative.  It has worked, so I call it great marketing.

Sure, the two situations were a little different, but the basic principles are similar.  All of the social media best practices we listed are generally good across the board, but in some cases these practices can be manipulated to fit a certain audience.

 

The Ubiquitous Facebook

Filed under: Uncategorized — matthunter8 @ 3:18 am

Two of the biggest powers on the Internet are Google and Facebook. Both have enormous audiences, but the basic principles of the two are different.

Google provides its users with links of information, and then the users leave Google to seek out their information on the other side of the “Google wall.” Facebook is different in that it wants its users to remain on its website for their information. Facebook is a community, and ideally, its users can provide and recommend all the information the site needs.

Google has thus far made a heck-of-a-lot more money than Facebook, but Facebook has always had the potential to challenge Google because of the size of its audience.

Well, Facebook has recently taken a small step outside of its own social community; however, the recent move still drives people to Facebook. Now, Facebook “like” buttons will appear on other various websites. If you “like” an article, photo, blog post or website you can click the “like” button and your suggestion will appear on your Facebook wall.

In addition, if my friends have “liked” an article on CNN.com, their Facebook profile picture will appear on that same article on CNN.com showing that one of my friends “liked” it as well.

So how will these changes affect us?

First off, you better check your privacy settings because if you don’t change your “liked” settings then the entire Internet will know what you like and don’t like. Maybe you don’t mind, but I don’t want ‘normies’ on the Internet being able to put my face to my preferences.

These changes could also eventually change the way we search the web. Are we browsing the web we want or are we browsing the web are friends recommend to us? This might limit the vastness and randomness of your searches on the Internet if we only view the “likes” of our friends.

Would you like this type of browsing? I’m not sure if I do or not.

 

Zitrain March 31, 2010

Filed under: 1 — matthunter8 @ 7:39 pm

The first thing I thought about after reading the section on generative and less generative products was the ipad.  The ipad has been getting a lot of negative reviews and comments about its lack of capabilities.  Its purpose and functions are specifically less generative and it should be marketed in this way too.  The ipad does not need to be generative to be successful.

Is it a bad thing if computers become less generative?  Maybe the Internet would be a safer place if computers were less generative.  I still think there would be plenty of generative opportunities for people to be creative, but if we simplified a computer’s functions maybe there could be some positives from it.

Not enough positives for me though.  I want my computer to be as generative as possible.

 

Divided Attention March 29, 2010

Filed under: 1 — matthunter8 @ 12:44 pm

I think the David Glenn article makes a good point about teachers having to be able to adjust to the divided attention of their students.  Single minded attention is not how most young people act nowadays.  And as media professionals, we need to understand this because the content we have to produce must still make an impact on the consumer.  Our message has to fight through the text messages, the television commercials, the music playing and the Facebook talking.  Whether or not its a better learning environment should not concern us, we have to deal with it and try to reach our audience at a certain level.

 

Anonymity and the Internet March 8, 2010

Filed under: 1 — matthunter8 @ 12:32 am

Gossip and rumors have been a part of our culture for a long time. Stories are told through a certain medium, and then people spread and reshape these stories over time. So, what’s the big deal about the Internet? How is it any different then other types of media?

The Internet is a lot more powerful than any tool before its time. It is less forgiving and accessible to billions of people around the world. The Internet has a lot of opponents because of how harsh and abusive it can be for people. For instance, the “poop girl” was a person whose life was completely changed because of attacks and criticism on the Internet. The Internet served as a place for people to express their opinions about the incident, but what most people fail to realize is the opportunity for the “poop girl” and any other person who has been criticized on the Internet a chance to fight back. If these attacks had occurred on television or the radio, these people wouldn’t have had the chance to defend themselves. The Internet can be very powerful, but it also allows everyone that right to voice his or her own side of a story.

Privacy is becoming fairly nonexistent when it comes to the Internet. Simple things as posting pictures, comments and contact information will be on the Internet forever. People have to be aware and willing to share this information to the entire world. Everyone needs to be more open with their lives. And as a result, Solve points out that people will have to be honest about themselves on the Internet.

This will be a challenge for a lot of people because the Internet is a place where people can be someone else. Anonymity has always been a huge draw for users of the Internet, and if you take that away from people then that will cause a completely different environment.

Will the Internet be a better place without anonymity? I’m not sure. I think people are a lot meaner when they don’t have to deal with the consequences of their comments or actions on the Internet. But I also think that people are more honest when they are anonymous. Sure, sometimes you have to look past the harsh tone of a comment, but more times than not people are giving their true and honest opinions. If everyone knows who everyone is on the Internet, then I think some of that honesty will be lost. People will be afraid to use their actual opinion to voice their ideas or concerns – and isn’t that ability what’s so great about the Internet?