MMC 6415 - 1

“From now on news can break into public consciousness without traditional press weighing in. Indeed, the news media can end up covering the story because something has broken into public consciousness via other means.” (Shirky, pp. 64-65)

With all of the accessibility an average Joe has in today’s society, technically, anyone can be a journalist. In fact, CNN encourages it with their iReporter website. Whether or not they posses the skills to make something that is worth reading/watching/listening/tweeting/etc. is a whole different story, but point is they can and they are. This also goes along with the idea of how random photos, videos, or stories gain so much popularity on the Internet that they then turn into actual news stories on the 5 o’clock news. Take, for example, the recent case of a woman who fell into a mall fountain because she wasn’t paying attention while texting and walking. The 13-second video was passed around various SNSs and eventually the media caught on. What makes the story even more comical is that the woman came forward to the press to admit it was she who fell, and because of that, she is now facing felony charges from previous crimes, which then create a completely different story for the news. Years ago (and I only mean a few, not decades), someone would read or listen to the news and learn of something shocking and start to share it with their family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Now, it seems as if the process is the complete opposite. 

In chapter 4 of Shirky, he questions the phrase “user-generated content.” It never occurred to me before, but he’s right, what makes a YouTube video any different than a Stephen King novel – weren’t they both generated by users? Instead, it’s much more involved than that.

“When people talk about user-generated content, they are describing the ways that users create and share media with one another, with no professionals anywhere in sight. Seen this way, the idea of user-generated content is actually not just a personal theory of creative capabilities but a social theory of media relations” (p. 83).

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While I was reading O’Reilly’s “What is Web 2.0?” I kept wondering to myself, “what year was this published it seems so outdated?” To my surprise, it was only published in 2005. Essentially, that's not a lot of time. This just proves how quickly the Internet is changing and updating itself (ok, how fast the programmers and concept developers are updating it).

Something else that struck my attention was on page 5, where O’Reilly noted “a key Web 2.0 principle: the service automatically gets better the more people use it.” Consider Facebook, would it have developed into what it is today had not millions of people bought into its appeal? No, I don’t think it would have. It would have fizzled out like the many other websites before it.

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First and foremost, why doesn’t boyd capitalize her last name? Or first name? Or middle initial for that matter?

While reading through this article, as someone who grew up in a technologically savvy generation, it seemed like common sense to me when they were describing what social network sites are and what a profile consists of. But then I thought back to my grandmother who doesn’t understand “that Twitter thing” and I can see why there is a need for more research and understanding of it. Boyd (I’m starting a sentence, to me it must be capitalized) and Ellison state “participants are not necessarily ‘‘networking’’ or looking to meet new people; instead, they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network” (p. 221). I completely agree with this; I don’t want to accept stranger’s friend requests on Facebook, I just want to keep updated with my friends and family. There is a reason why there are privacy settings.


Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky

O'Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0?

boyd, d., & Ellison, N. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship.

The Social Media Playbook