The good, bad and the internet

There is a long list of pros and cons regarding the internet. It is of huge power in our society. It can be a platform for us to express our own opinions and build our own communities, or it can be a platform for bullying and can enable humans to lose touch with one another. Even right this moment i am becoming distracted by my phone and by the other tabs being open.

The good is that it can offer so much to us as humans, we can learn so easily and can view things from a click of a button from the other side of the world. Websites like Skype and FaceTime allow the accessibility to be literally at our fingertips.

The bad being that we are so focused by these little screens that we spend on average more than 20 hours a week online . Not only does this distract us from experiencing the world it can also have impact on our brains. Nicholas Carr wrote a book called The shallows discussing how the brain is affected by the internet. My favourite quote is on page 209 where he states ‘Even as our technologies become extensions of ourselves, we become extensions of our technologies […] every tool imposes limitations even as it opens possibilities. The more we use it, the more we mold ourselves to its form and function’. We are as clever as how we use the internet. Things like social media distract us and dumb us down to spend endless hours of the day watching cute dogs or cats singing.

I have recorded myself while writing this blog post and tallied up that i looked at my phone 8 times during this process. The addiction to this technology is worryingly powerful. I hope that you have got to the end of this post without being distracted by a small screen with a friend sending you a link to “puppies learning to swim”.




Ashley Madison – the scandal

If you haven’t heard of Ashley Madison the tagline speaks for itself “Life is short. Have an affair”. It is also sometimes referred to as the google of cheating. This website was founded in 2002 by Avid Media and was targeted to people in a relationship or better yet marriages but still wanting to date. How romantic.

There are 3 types of paid memberships; introductory, elite and affair guaranteed, these ranging from $39-179. The idea of making it secretive and easy for men and women to cheat on their boy/girlfriends and husbands/wives is crazy.

The website is copyrighted to keep all data and information private however in August this year hackers leaked information on 37 million clients active on this paid website. As you can imagine this caused huge upset in terms of relationships but also of the security of websites, websites that you pay to use.

I do not agree with the websites goals and i do think they got what they deserved (the members) but the breach of leaking data has a huge effect of the way we view the online community. I believe we put so much trust in putting private information online that it can come round to bite us in the ass. Hackers are a huge issue and especially if you are paying to use a website you expect the information on their to be kept private. I think this is a great example of data breach and copyright laws in keeping peoples information private. Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 21.34.50.png

Opening our privacy up

A common source of our privacy being opened is social media; Facebook, twitter, instagram. We allow strangers to have an insight into our lives, our birthday, our friends and family,a significant amount of our private information. Also these online platforms have huge advantages, for example being able to talk to our friends and family across the world with one click, there can be negatives attached to signing up.

A great example for online privacy is the 2014 celebrity hack involving, Scarlett Johansson, Vanessa Hudgens and more high profile actresses. Naked photos and text messages were leaked online by a group of hackers. Although this is not directly social media, this is still information being taken from one of our most priced possessions, our mobile phones.

I keep everything on my phone, i would even go as far as saying my whole life is basically on my phone. All the apps, e.g email are automatically logged in and therefore if anyone hacked my phone they could pretty much access all of my information. This concept has become normalised, we do not think about how much information we are putting out on to the web or on to our phones.

HitLevitt with your ideas

HitRecord is a online website where if signed up allows you to become part of a collaborate production company. Joseph Gordon Levitt, a successful hollywood actor decided to set up this online community in 2004 where by anyone could upload a creative piece of media and collab with fellow users. This is anything from music to poems to drawings. For example you can upload a script and people can make your tv series/film come to life.

This is a huge step up from social online community’s such as Facebook, i urge anyone  in the creative industry to join this creative community where projects that have seemed impossible can now be brought to life by people around the world.

Films, CD’s and even books have been published through this online community  including The Tiny Book of Stories (2010). In total there were 42 contributors.



Interactive audiences through TV

TV has developed along side the online world, now even allowing audiences to become interactive in the show. For example, talent shows like X-factor and The Voice allow audiences to go from fans to consumers.

Voting via apps and websites helps make the audience feel more connected and enable them to have a role in the show (e.g which contestant gets voted out each week).   x-factor-voting.jpg

Voting on a range of platforms makes it more accessible for audiences to get involved. This not only helps to engage the audience but also allows them to share, comment and even promote the program. Gunner Harboe describes this as ‘social television’ where by  TV programmes like X-factor and The Voice are “drawing people into a shared experience”.

Allowing audiences to be more interactive and comment their own opinion is a great technique to help promote a program. I personally have used an app as a voting system and i think its a great way to make the audience more involved by shaping the outcome and allow the connection between creator and audience not so far fetched.



Chronicles of convergence: The book, the film and the wardrobe

Cultural Convergence is a major part of the media industry commonly used over a number of platforms, including film and TV. The Chronicles of Narnia: the lion, the witch, the wardrobe is a classic example of cultural convergence. It first started as a book and then was developed into films, musicals, sound tracks on CDs  and now is promoted into the toy industry with various action figures tailored to children.

Not only has it spread to a number of different media platforms it has also spread through language, the novels have sold over a 100 million copies in 47 languages. The book has converted into a number of platforms, including a very own website dedicated to the book which includes ‘news and extras’ and even ‘events’ circulating Narnia. Other websites have been created focusing on Narnia, for example clothing and toy companies selling products referring to the books and the films.

Klaus Bruhn Jensen described convergence as “a historically open ended migration of communicative practices across diverse material technologies and social institutions”. The Chronicles of Narnia book has migrated to various other platforms and expanded their audience following by doing so.

This is a great example of cultural convergence and really shows how much convergence can have an effect on the business element of it. Cultural convergence of a book creates a huge line of income into the product and helps boost the audience to get more interactive and involved in the idea behind the product.


YouNeed YouTube


YouTube is a great online resource, it allows us as individuals to create our own content, develop our own opinions and spread our voice through video. I see it as the video version of Twitter.

This platform is hugely important to our social culture and our society. A great example of YouTubes creations is Soul Pancake. The media convergence from this is huge, they now have a book out and a multimedia production company all because of YouTube. Soul Pancake works to inform the world of “stuff that matters” as their tagline would like to put it. They have created their own network through YouTube creating different series of videos referring to a vast amount of issues. In terms of social impact they have raised over $2 million for charities supporting cancer research.

YouTube as a online resource allows audiences to be interactive and get involved by commenting or creating videos responding. Not only can we learn from this online platform we can also educate. It allows us to see into different cultures, different opinions and develop different ideas.

Vloggers have become the new TV stars due to this platform. My generation I feel is the key generation to this idea of ‘vlogging’ and the power of videoing yourself talking to a camera in your bedroom. Vloggers have created a new online social group and I feel YouTube does connect information and society at once.