Digital Revolution

Week 10 – New Media Beyond 1st Worlds

The Digital Revolution, a fitting title for the radical changes that continues to unfold unpredictably before us. It is easy to say in a developed society that fresh, new and flashy technological advances which become available for our consumer interest can feel a lot of the time gimmicky, spectacular or evening overwhelming.  I feel we tend to use these devices for simple reasons like stalking our friends on Facebook, play Farmville or get as many “likes” as possible on our webpage.

Beyond our borders there are people of developing nations who treat these devices as something much more valuable and purposeful, their attitude which I greatly admire and can only respect. Saroj’s blog on April 26, 2012 describes their views on social media as “a tool for patient empowerment” (2012). She reflects her time in India where the locals use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms for their own useful right such as to improve medical literacy and the communication along with treatment of patients.

Even in times of dire situations, social media has always been there for our use. As Simon Mainwaring (2011) explains how the recent Egyptian revolution was an incredible achievement in both the power of protest and the demonstration of the tremendous potential of social media. The rapid communication, expansion of networks and growing inspiration was too big for the Mubarak regime to handle, ultimately leading to his downfall. Social media wins once again!

I completely agree with Will’s blog on how social media can always bring positive and progressive changes to certain situations. No subject has sparked so much sensation and significance like social media has in recent history. I believe how developing nations use social media should be taken as a lesson to every individual who is online, teaching us that we the everyday people have this powerful tool at our disposal and use it for greater meaning rather than tweeting about Justin Bieber’s new hairstyle. As Erik Qualman states, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” (2011).

References

CBS. 2011. “Egypt’s Social Networking Revolution.” YouTube video, posted February 12. Accessed May 13, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqHPRHOHcN8

Leong, S.(2008). Looking through the corridor: Malaysia and the MSC inLim, David C. L.(Ed.)Overcoming Passion for Race in Malaysia Cultural Studies.Leiden: Brill, pp. 83-108

Mainwaring, Simon. 2011. “Exactly What Role Did Social Media Play in the Egyptian Revolution?” Accessed May 15, 2012. http://www.fastcompany.com/1727466/exactly-what-role-did-social-media-play-in-the-egyptian-revolution

Saroj. 2012. “Social Media as a Tool for Patient Empowerment in Developing Countries.” Saroj on the Issues… , April 26. Accessed May 15, 2012. http://sospokesaroj.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/social-media-as-a-tool-for-patient-empowerment-in-developing-countrie/

Socialnomics09. 2011. “Social Media Revolution 2011.” YouTube video, posted June 8. Accessed May 13, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SuNx0UrnEo&feature=related

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Some Kind of Monster

Week 9 – New Media Law, Policy and Gonvernance

After reading Kieran Tranter’s Stories of Human Anatomy, Law and Technology (2010), I have decided to further explore an intriguing story which involves the newly seen powers of social media, the laws broken and the ethics questioned. This saga has forever changed the way we consume music along with the way we share it and how artists control their own music, or not. It has brought one of the mightiest and successful musical acts in history of popular music to its knees.

In 2000, Metallica unleashed hell onto the internet file-sharing website Napster by suing them for copyright infringement, unlawfully allowing the band’s entire back catalogue available online for free download. The band drummer Lars Ulrich expressed how he feels it is “sickening to know that [their] art is being traded like a commodity” (2000).

The legal saga has raised big concerns on the financial future of the music industry as artists will struggle to make money. I have never really cared much for the financial concerns of musicians as their complaints come across as shallow and greedy to my taste, many still making millions despite the ongoing downloading frenzies (2009). My bigger concern is the ethical side of the issue. Do we have the right to be able to download our favourite musician’s work without giving them a cent?

The introduction of websites such as Napster has opened a new, revolutionary door to the way we listen, access and share music. Many will argue that music, like information, should be easily accessible for all to listen, regardless of how much money you have in your pocket.

This is an issue where I cannot pick clear sides. I love having the option of being able to download music so easily and quickly without worrying to pay but I also have this internal guilt for essentially stealing from my hero or heroine. I guess for a music fan it is my responsibility to keep the industry running and buy as much as I can but it doesn’t hurt to know that there is an alternative.

References

Amy Doan. 2000. “Metallica Sues Napster”. Accessed May 6, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/2000/04/14/mu4.html

Enigmax. 2009. “Metallica’s Lars Ulrich is Proud of Napster’s Destruction” Accessed May 6, 2012. http://torrentfreak.com/lars-ulrich-proud-of-destruction-of-napster-090718/

Tranter, Kieran (2010). Stories of Human Anatomy, Law, and Technology in Bulletin of Science Technology Society. 30(18), pp. 18-21

DJ Roomba

Week 8 – New Media Transgressions

I think we have all imagined a day in the future where we can spot advanced humanoid androids walking among us in the busiest of crowds, interacting with us where ever we go. As expressed in Amelia’s blog, it is without a doubt an exciting prospect to witness the human-like capabilities which robots can possess in order to encourage a deeper level of interaction.  Probably as old as the idea of the creation of robots itself, the fear of robots matching or even surpassing our own intellect has also been largely among sceptics.  The Modeled Behaivor blog reported a survey in 2011 which revealed that 50% of the survey participants believed the creation of human-level (and beyond) machines will likely produce an extremely bad outcome (2011).

As much as we might be frightened with the potential of artificial intelligence it’s important to be aware that robots have already been integrated and heavily used in societies around the world already for many years. A notable is the self-vacuum cleaning robot Roomba with the video “DJ Roomba” (2010) demonstrating its popularity and acceptance in today’s homes.

I am excited for the future of robotics as Cynthia Breazeal explains in her 2010 presentation “The Rise of Personal Robots” (2010) that they can change our private and professional lives in terms of the way we communicate, perform tasks and use media. As explained in this blog, I agree that such technology is beneficial to us but we cannot let it rise to the point where it can takes over our lives and it essentially replaces us perhaps in the work place or it increases our growing dependancy for them.

I believe we should welcome helpful and supportive artificial intelligence for certain parts of our lives as long as it doesn’t blur what it is truly important which is our humanity, the way we work, bond and live. Besides, if we have too many robots then where will DJs go for work?

References

Amelia. 2012. “Will your robot keep you warm at night?” KCB206AMELIA. Accessed April 29, 2012. http://kcb206amelia.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/will-your-robot-keep-you-warm-at-night/

Breazal, Cynthia. 2011. “The rise of personal robots.” Accessed April 29, 2012. http://www.ted.com /talk/cynthia_breazeal_the_rise_of_personal_robots.html

Justqualitymusic. 2010, “dj roomba.” YouTube video, posted Februrary 5, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXhsUPtsiLU

Leong, Susan. 2012. “KCB206 Week 8 Lecture.” Accessed April 29, 2012. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_81726_1%26url%3D

n7075782. 2012. “We control the new media or it control us?” n7075782. Accessed April 29, 2012. http://n7075782.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/we-control-the-new-media-or-it-control-us/

Ozimek, Adam. 2011. “Should we fear the robot future?” Modeled Behaivor. Accessed April 29, 2012. http://modeledbehavior.com/2011/05/24/should-we-fear-the-robot-future/

Sheepsourcing

Week 7: Working In/With New Media

A word like “mompreneurs”, coined in John Zittrain’s lecture “Minds for Sale” (2009) when introducing the idea of housewives finding work online, immediately tells us how deep the internet has integrated into our personal and professional lives. As mentioned by Ivan, the internet has opened doors to a larger variety of easily accessible jobs making employment simpler than ever.

The line between the professional and the amateur life has been blurred where the “Information Age is full of myths about the fate of work and employment (Castells 1999, 401).  New media has created countless online jobs, raising serious questions on the future of traditional careers and the workplace. Scepticism has also been raised on the exploitive nature of crowdsourcing due to the extremely low pay for certain tasks. (Gill 2007, 40).

Like explained on Will’s post, I personally believe crowdsourcing should be viewed as a new, fresh and positive change to the way we approach work rather than being seen as exploitation by corporations. There are a huge range of jobs and wages being offered online from science experiments to art drawings, all appealing to certain worker’s interests. As long as one finds work and pay they are satisfied with then what else could you ask for?

References

Castells, M. (1999). ‘An Introduction to the Information Age’ in The Media Reader: Continuity & Transformation. Hugh Mackay & Tim O’Sullivan (eds), London: Sage: 398-410

Cheung, Ivan. 2012. “Crowd Sourcing – New Concept for Companies and Us.” The New Media World – We Just Sharing, April 18. Accessed April 21, 2012. http://ivanbloggggggg.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/crowd-sourcing-new-concept-for-companies-and-us/

Gill, R. (2007). Informality is the New Black. In Technobohemians or the new Cybertariat?New Media work in Amsterdam a decade after the web. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures: 24-30 & 38-43

Will. 2012. “Crowdsourcing a Darwinian Theory of Evolution.” Life: New Media, April 22. Accessed April 21, 2012. http://willpt87.tumblr.com/post/21556492159/crowdsourcing-a-darwinian-theory-of-evolution

Wired. 2008. “Data Art: The Sheep Market.” YouTube video, posted March 6. Accessed April 21, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mmb5aSscck

Zittrain, J. 2009.  “Minds for Sale”. YouTube video, posted November 29. Accessed April 21, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3h-rae3uo

Dr. Google

Without a doubt I’m sure we have all opened up the trusty Dr. Google and searched why we have a headache, chest pains or even seeing things on our bodies we have never seen before. The internet has given us the option to find out more about these mysterious symptoms with the speed, convenience and ease of access to direct information unlike trying to book an appointment with the doctor.

Although this alternative may seem like the comfortable way of the future for how we take care ourselves medically, we must always remember the internet is not 100% reliable.

The internet has indeed started “encouraging people to take an active interest in their own health maintenance” and it has already been adopted by the younger users as a means of achieving their desired health “lifestyle”  (Lewis 2006, 4 -13) , whether that may be searching information for physical fitness or losing weight.

There is of course always the risk of running into false information which could worsen one’s well-being. This increased level of trust being placed on health sites can damage the once common patient-doctor relationship (Wyatt, Harris, Wathen 2008, 193), considerably the more intelligent choice when experiencing greater pain.

I guess my stance on internet self-diagnosis is the matter of common sense. I think we should appreciate this level of freedom we have when it comes to health self-management as long as we always remind ourselves to be critical in evaluating sources and you should actually visit the doctor when having a stroke.

References

Lewis, T. (2006).   Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or   bad attack of cyberchondria?    Media, Culture & Society, volume 28, issue 4:   521-539.

thishourhas22minutes. 2008. “Internet Self-Diagnosis.” YouTube video, posted July 23. Accessed March 30, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjW11wxMApM&feature=related

Wyatt, S., Harris,   R. and Wathen, N. (2008). The Go-Betweens: Health, Technology and   Info(r)mediation. In    Mediating Health Information: The Go-Betweens in a Changing   Socio-Technical Landscape. Sally Wyatt, Nadine Wathen and   Roma Harris (eds), pp. 1-12. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

The Benefits of Internet Freedom

Image

Week 4: New Media, Beliefs, Politics & Ethics

“True information does good” – Julian Assange, 2010

Wikileaks founder, editor and fellow Queenslander Julian Assange explains in his 2010 interview with The Economist (2010) that his intentions for the creation of Wikileaks is to expose highly confidential and controversial information to the general public, hoping they would further engage with the reports and strive for “political reform”. I believe Wikileaks is one of the many success stories of using the internet for the exposure and participation for political and social agendas.

I believe the internet has become a valuable asset in a modern world of growing corruption and injustice as it has revolutionised the way we learn, communicate and participate when it comes to politics. Ivan’s post elaborates how the internet has brought us closer together due to the growth of networking, resulting in increase engagement as a collective group for the same cause.

Shirky also explains, (2011) “social media have become coordinating tools for nearly all of the world’s political movements” , further mentioning the recent political turmoils in Egypt, Spain and the Philippines as examples. Hanan’s post describes the importance of internet freedom as the deny of access can lead to situations in Iran where the people are silenced.

I believe the internet should be the one place in our lives where we have ultimate power to expose and have access to completely uncensored, unfiltered and honest material. It has become a new and powerful form of freedom of speech which should never be taken away.

References

EconomistMagazine. 2010. “Tea with Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks economist.com/video.” YouTube video posted July 28. Accessed March 25, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_HPLHIBTtA

hananlau. 2012. “Imagine Being Dictated Regarding Your Freedom Online…Pure Injustice…”, March 24. Accessed March 25, 2012. http://hananlau.wordpress.com/author/hananlau

ivan7cth. 2012. “The New Media — A Greater Connection Between Politics and Public.” The New Media World — We just sharing, March 25. Accessed March 25, 2012. http://ivanbloggggggg.wordpress.com/

Shirky, C. (2011). The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change in Foreign Affairs. Volume 90, Issue 1; pg. 28.

Sharing Creative Expression in the Social Media Community

ImageWeek 3 – The New Media Amusement Arcade: Music, Games and Films

I don’t think many of us would have been able to predict or even had any idea on how the internet would have changed and looked today if I asked you about it ten years ago. In less than a decade the internet has rapidly morphed, transformed and evolved into something that has essentially given every internet user the power to be heard and seen in an increasingly connected and globalised online community. The website Internet Killed Television (2011) strives on the idea how we can become broadcasters.Adam Ostrow (2009) reports how YouTube has become the most innovative social media project of the decade, revolutionising the way we watch, share and interact with entertainment. I think we adore it so much because it has given everyone of us the freedom to upload whatever we want and say what we really want to say.

One of my favourite examples which I believe uses entertainment in a social media context successfully is the YouTuber KSIOlajideBT’s videos all relating to his favourite video games as he spices things up with his hilarious racial humour. What makes him so appealing to me is how an ordinary guy who is the same age as myself and is located all the way from the UK can post funny videos for the world to see with such ease. He’s proving that amateurs can be entertaining. It influences me to try and do the same in some way.


References

Charles and Alli Trippy. 2012. “Internet Killed Television.” Accessed March 13, 2012. http://internetkilledtv.com/?page_id=3002

KSIOlajidebt. 2011. “KSIOlajidebt Vlog’s | The History of my Name.” YouTube video, uploaded on August 15, 2011. Accessed March 15, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOMANYBXtSM

Ostrow, Adam. 2009. “YouTube Is the Top Media Innovation of the Decade.” Accessed March 15, 2012. http://mashable.com/2009/12/22/youtube-2010/