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