The Impact of the Network

While investigating the various topics within Network Media and Society I have become very interested in the subject as a whole. I have been able to learn a great deal about the different media forms both old and new, the developments in digital medias and the pros and cons to them existing in our society. Even though I found all topics interesting and engaging I found Media Convergence, Audience Participation and Online visibility to have a large impact on our everyday lives and have both positive and negative elements to their existence.

Just to recap, Media convergence is the combination of new media and old media within a single piece of media work and usually can be seen in the coming together of different media products/technology. The rapid development of a franchise like Star Wars is a classic example of Media Convergence – from a film series to merchandise to comics to novelizations to TV Shows to video games.

Audience participation is the communication between the media and its audience. It allows the audience to take part, communication and manipulate the media form to exist in a way that pleases the users. Examples of this would be the TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing which allows its audience to vote for their favourite contestants. YouTube is another form of audience participation as it is an online space that allows audiences to view other audience work.

Online visibility is the amount of information a person launches online about themselves. Their name, date of birth, whereabouts, likes and dislike etc. Social Media sites such as Facebook are very good at requesting to find out more personal information about the users.

These three topic in particular can interlink have had a massive impact on our everyday live and how society is forming. However, there are pros and cons to their existence and they can affect the users live in different ways.

Thanks to modern digital media forms such as the internet many of the topic in Network Media and society interlink with one another and devices such as smartphones and tablets allow audiences to constantly expose themselves to the topics within Network Media and Society.

Media convergence on one hand has allowed specific products and technologies to grow and develop. It helps to keep a concept alive and even allows it to evolve and branch out to create new concepts. It allows creators to better connect with their audiences though developments in technology. And has become another form of advertisement.

However, is media convergence another way of allowing media professionals to make more money off just one popular concept?

Me being a Star Wars fan have often used media convergence by looking at information within the story that was not given within. Without this product evolving into games, books and comics I would not have been able to find my answer. Also, if the movies did not evolve into online content I would not be able to learn be other concepts that branch from this idea.

Audience Participation has allowed users to be heard especially since the development of the internet. For me without audience participation I probably would not be able to find entertainment on sites YouTube or blog discussion. However, on TV shows that use voting I may not always agree with the decision made by the audience. Online audience participation has created a new way for people to communicate and socialise and allows audiences to be in control to a certain extent.

Online visibility has shown me the importance of my information. However, it puts me risk and benefits me also. Information being placed on social media can allow unwanted users to view my information. However, for other uses such as online shopping the distribution of my information allows me to easily meet the product I am buying.

When looking into Meetup, the online community, a user’s online visibility was kept restricted up to a certain level to avoid any unwanted communication. This keeps the users safe from one another. Meetups also contains audience participation as users can decide to join specific groups that fit their interests and speak to many others on how they feel. Meetup also contains media convergence to it can be used on a number of digital devices. This makes it easier to use for the audience.

I have really enjoyed learning about the topics with Network Media and Society and now can identify these elements and the pros and cons they have in our society.

How did you guys find it?


Is it right to Copyright?

ITunes is a good example of a content provider that is under strict copyright restriction. As we all know iTunes is Software introduced in 2001. It was created and provided by Apple and is widely used to organise different types of media on various types of Apple products such as the Apple Mac models, iPods, iPhones, iPads and can also be used on Windows devices as well. ITunes allows its users to acquire, music, podcast, TV shows, movies and books wirelessly online, provided they pay for it and don’t tamper with the copyright restrictions.

ITunes is mainly known for its distribution of music. However, the music industry can be affected by both tighter and fewer restrictions on its Creative Commons licence. On one hand tighter copyright restrictions allows the artist to protect their work so that others don’t become successful off another’s ideas. However, fewer restrictions allows others to keep an artist’s work alive and popular for further generations of audiences.

The Rolling Stones – The Last time vs The Verve – Bittersweet symphony is a classic example of an argued plagiarism case over music. The Verve bought the rights to sample the orchestral version of The Last time. However, the Rolling Stones manager believed the Verve sampled too much to the original song. The royalties were meant to be split evenly between the two groups but the songs massive success made The Rolling Stones demand 100 percent of the royalties and the right The Verve’s lyrics.

ITunes also provides a variety of popular media content for books. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is a strong form of media convergence as iTunes allows the user to buy the franchises books, audiobooks, movies, soundtracks, albums, Apps and Podcasts. Of course J.K. Rowling has the copyright licence for Harry Potter in place and media markets such as iTunes must respect its distribution. However, I don’t believe The Harry Potter series can now particularly affect J.K. Rowling negatively. The series is already a successful franchise globally and J.K. Rowling is well known for creating its concept. Therefore, fewer restrictions on its Copyright allows fans to write their own fan-fiction, keeping the series known for future generations, keeping it successful and continue to generate profit.

However, Authors of less well known books series such as Michael Grant’s – The Gone Series and Derek Landy’s – Skulduggery Pleasant series (both amazing stories by the way) may prefer stricter Copyright control as their stories are less popular and less successful compared to J.K. Rowling. These Authors may prefer stricter Copyright control on their content so that others can’t create work based to their ideas.



What else is there?

The internet is a major part of my life. It has become so involved that I don’t always notice my frequent activities on it.  It does make me wonder how visible I am online and the information on me that is available to others.  Even though I don’t use many of my accounts anymore I do believe I kept most of them active in case I returned to them later in life.

Online I have these accounts: Hotmail, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wattpad, Runescape, Snap Chat, LinkedIn, Amazon, Banking, WhatsApp, Sound cloud and Blackboard.

The accounts I use most regularly are Hotmail, Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and, now that I’m a student, Online Banking and Blackboard. The other account I still use but less frequently. Some of these accounts will have more information on me than others due to my visibility and regular use.

The accounts that hold the most information about me are probably my Email accounts as names, date of birth, residence contact information and more are needed to create the account. Also email links the computer to all other online accounts and therefore holds the most information on the user. The only information I have given out to others is my email address of communication purposes.

Amazon and Banking are other online accounts holding important information about me. These accounts deal with my finances and hold information such as bank details as well as money that comes and leaves my account. The Banking also holds my name, dob, contact detail etc. similarly to email. The Amazon account also holds information on what I buy and knows my location, hobbies and interests based on my account activities. This information should only be available to my account though amazon/product provider does know my account name, what I’m buying and where to deliver it.

Facebook is definitely an account that holds a lot of information about my life. It is my favourite social networking account and I have had it for many years. Facebook constantly asks me to upload more personal information and even though I rarely do it still knows a lot about me. It holds my name, phone number, email, housing location, past schools I’ve gone to, timeline holding the order of my life, photos of what I look like, music/films/books/people/movements/events that I like, my family and the majority of my friends and people I’m acquainted with. Facebook has a huge amount of information on its users and the majority of this information is available to my friends. However, most of this information is under the users control as I can limit what others see about me by removing, blocking and editing my information. Although I do believe once information has been uploaded it is stored somewhere by others on the internet.

Overall I believe Facebook holds the most detailed information on me and millions of others. However, my online activity on all my account does say a lot me when you look at how the internet can be used.

How much does the internet know about you? You should check and find out.

Wanna ‘Meet Up’

Meetups is a great example of an online community. It is the largest global online social networking portal (based in New York City). It allows users to create, find and join both online and offline groups and events, giving users the opportunity to meet others face-to-face. They have many different ‘meetups’ all around the world and allow their members to participate. As a member of Meetups you can join groups that fit your interests such as politics, literature, games, movies, health and fitness, animal care and other hobbies.

Meetups is easy to operate. The user enters their residential information such as a City address or postcode and tags the topics they are interested in. Both the Meetups website and app allows for easy access and helps locate group information about when and where to meet.

The website and app also allows users to contact their meetup group through communication tools provided such as the Meetups messaging platform and the comments function that allows members to critique a group or event. This considers the member’s safety. After each event the group is sent an email that invites the user to establish further communication with the group members.

The Meetups online community benefit greatly from the website. It allows individuals to improve themselves and their lifestyle. It gives them to opportunities to try new activities and live a fuller life. It also allows users to socially bond with others as meeting new people could lead to new friendships. It helps users feel more confident and re-energises their personality. It also gives members goals to strive for and which can improve one’s motivation. Users can also learn new things and adapt to new experiences.

The website also has found a way to keep its users safe. By meeting face-to-face users can feel safer as they are acquainted with the people that they are communicating with. By meeting up in a group it allows users to find safety in numbers as events are performed in teams.

However, there are some issues to this social community. Some people could be false and only want to sell their own services. Some users hate small talk and may get unnerved by this type of communication. Also new friendships could lead to obligations and new responsibilities that could hinder the user’s life.

Meetups aims to revitalize local communities by helping people organise their personal lives and makes positive changes in those who need it.


What do you guys think about Meetups? Would you join it?

We make YouTube


As we all know, YouTube is an upload video sharing website that allows users to show different forms of video content on the internet. Since its first video in 2005 YouTube has gone on to have over 1 billion accounts that vary in many different types of formats, genres and categories.

But when you think about it, YouTube is shaped primarily by its audience. It creates the website and the audience creates the content. As the audience for YouTube is so vast and varied there is bound to be content that users have not seen, while new content is being uploaded all the time. Keeping users interested.

YouTube has also provided its users with many different tools to help meet the audiences needs such as linking your YouTube account to your social network accounts (twitter, Facebook, websites), YouTube messenger and the comments section. These tools can help YouTubers to better understand their audience and created more popular content in the future.

If a YouTuber becomes popular, YouTube pays that user as they are keeping viewers interested in the website. This then starts a new group of people dedicated to becoming popular YouTubers as they could pursue a career they enjoy. To name some locals, danisnotonfire, comedyshortgamer, Emma Blackery and KSI.

I, like many, am a YouTuber though, like most, am not popular enough to get paid. However, popular or not all users are providing YouTube with content keeping the website interesting and diverse.

One of my favourite YouTube channels is ‘Screen Junkies’, popular for their ‘Honest Trailer’ videos. This channel links it’s social network sites together allowing its audience to vote on films to critique. This allows the audience to get the content they want and allows the YouTube channel to remain popular. The comments section then allows the YouTube user to analyse what viewers thought about their video and qualities to keep and eliminate for the next one.

Do you agree, does YouTube and/or YouTubers use their audience to shape their content?


Smartphone Evolution

I believe good example of convergence comes through the evolution of smartphones such as Apple’s modal iPhone device. Convergence is the combination of both new and old media which merges into a single piece of media work. Smartphones are a great example of different media products and technology coming together to form a device capable of different functions. They have become minicomputers due to their advancements.

Technological convergence applies in many different ways to smartphones as most of the device’s functions are already digitalised.

Originally telephones were only capable of one function, audibly contacting people from one place to another. Then mobile phones allowed people to call then text anywhere. These days’ smartphones are capable of these functions and more. Saving and collecting contact information automatically making it easier and faster for the user to contact others.

Also smartphones are now capable of audio and visual contact with others from all over the world with programmes such as Facetime and Skype. This allows the user to communicate with others in a different and perhaps easier way.

ITunes is another example of technological convergence. Prior to iTunes many people purchased music through stores such as HMV (remember this?) or downloading illegally. However, iTunes allows the user to buy and download music, DVD’s, books, podcasts etc anywhere making it easier for audience to engage with these media forms.

I believe the App store is another form of technological convergence. Prior to its existence, information within most apps was found in books, websites and other separate forms. For example, gaming apps like chess originated from board games. Now users can play it anytime with multiple players or with the computer itself, giving more accessibility to the app.

Camera’s are another major convergent of smartphones. Prior to this, cameras were bought separately. However, after being introduced into mobile phones they became used constantly for taking photos and videos on social network applications such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Snapchat. Cameras converging with smartphones has opened up a new form of communication for user introducing a new way to socialize. Arguably this convergence has been essential for the popularity of many smartphone apps. For users It become easier and cheaper as the technology was always in one place, the smartphone.

The Internet was another convergent of smartphones. Originally smartphones did not have access to the internet, limiting their capabilities. However, after the massive changes the internet made on the world as well as technological advances, the smartphones were able to access to the internet allowing the development of apps for users as well as easy access to large amounts of data and information.

I believe these are some of the convergences made with smartphones. Of course there are many more. What do you think was a major convergence of the smartphone?


Advantages to SlideShare

I believe LinkedIn SlideShare is a useful resource for students studying this module. SlideShare is a web based slide hosting service. It allows internet users to both view and upload files publicly or privately on the formats, PowerPoint, Open document presentations, PDF or Keynote. The files are then available on the SlideShare website can be viewed on a variety of devices such as computers and with its app on smart phones and tablets, allowing easy handling for most users.

An advantage to this online resource is that it has a large amount of information on many different subjects and topics. This includes information on Network Society and the Media. As SlideShare has a diverse range of information users can view many different files on a topic and identify its key points. Also, different users and audiences can use SlideShare to understand information. Related files are available to the user for further research, allowing those studying merging subjects to find and gain information on related topics.

Another advantage to SlideShare is that statistics, reports, podcasts and video and audio materials can be viewed through the presentation. This allows the user access to further information in a variety different formats that could be useful for drawing other forms of data such as visual charts, tables and mind maps. Through the presentation users can also get access to links for sites that can give them more detailed information on a subject.

Despite many presentations appearing as professional lectures, an issue with SlideShare is recognizing scholars work as anyone can upload to the SlideShare website. However, an advantage to this issue is that users can like or comment on uploaded files stating their opinion and explaining the pros and cons of the presentation. This allows users to recognize useful presentations for themselves and choose stronger sources of information.

Overall I believe SlideShare is a great online resource that allows students to grasp key points of information. It has a diverse range of work from different people allowing the user to gain a larger picture on a subject. It also can lead to other forms of information such as links to help the user gain more detailed information. It is a good starting point for learning new subjects.