The thing that has stood out for me the most this module is awareness. Of course I already sort of/kind of/maybe knew that I should be careful what I post and what I do online but really studying this in depth has made me aware how important it is to be careful online. I have been made more aware of mass surveillance and will now take care to notice these things. I have been made more aware of how my information is shared online. I have been made aware of identity theft and other bad things that can happen. I am now more aware of online copyright laws and the repercussions these have had on the creative community. A lot of good has also come of the internet one of them being the helpful and often knowledgeable online communities that have sprung up. I am now aware that the internet is a creative and an amazing place but that I need to be aware of how I use it, and how others use it.
The New Yorker is a weekly print and online magazine. It covers everything from reporting on politics, to fictional love stories to humorous cartoons. What is does offer is a distinctive style and absolutely fantastic writing. I will concentrate on the online edition for the purpose of this post. What frustrated me when I first came across The New Yorker was that was that I could only read ten articles before it asked me to subscribe and pay to read (12 weeks for just $12!). I know this is a relatively cheap price (I’m not sure how that would work out paying in English pounds!), but the problem was that I was used to reading news and pop culture articles online for free so why should I pay? I know that the people working on the magazine need to be paid so I understand why there is a fee and that it is original work that is being paid for but I was just not happy paying it. I wonder if The New Yorker was shared with fewer restrictions under a creative commons license it would prove more of a useful tool and an inspiration to all aspiring writers and journalists. I feel by limiting their audience they may be limiting their creativity also. As there are lots of alternative free magazines out there, are they scaring away their younger audience?
I’m lucky (or unlucky!) to have an extremely common name so if you google it, millions of different people with my name will appear. I also pride myself in being quite private on Facebook. I hardly ever post updates and if I do they’re normally just photos. Although now I’m properly thinking about it, it does mean that there are 8 years worth of photos of me which sounds pretty scary. My account is completely private and can only be seen by friends and I never accept people I don’t know. I also regularly clean out my friends list of people I don’t need to be in contact with anymore. Overall I’m happy with the privacy of my Facebook. My twitter is a new account I have made for work purposes so it is really private and has hardly any information about me on it. I have a Linkedin from my previous jobs but it does not reveal too much. And I also have Instagram which is set to private. Overall I believe I’m not very visible online which is the way I like it.
PostSecret is a continuous community art project where people send in their secrets on one side of a postcard. The secrets are sent in anonymously and then posted up on the website every Sunday. The contributors often make their posts very creative and/or witty and often comment on topical subjects. They can be extremely honest, cutting and truthful and show a slice of human nature. The content of the posts change with significant events so for example they can focus on Christmas topics around Christmas time or family relationships around mother’s day. The project has been running for 9 years and has had over a million postcards sent in. Users can comment on the postcards with help or support. Many people in the PostSecret community has said it has helped them to overcome or come to terms with their darkest secrets.
For Youtube stars it is there audience that shapes there show. They take direction from their followers and shape their build their videos around what they want to see. I have chosen share with you the (rather awful!) video DARE or DARE Marcus vs Zoella. In this particular video I have chosen, the audience are actually telling the Vloggers what to do, by commenting on the video and daring them to do things. They also get their fans to tweet them and use other forms of social media and so are getting their audience to participate and join in with them in many different ways. They reply to their followers and make them feel involved the whole way through, even naming some by name. Followers of these Youtubers feel like they have a real impact in what happens in the videos.
Radio is one of the oldest forms of media but I believe it is growing and turning itself into a new and exciting form of digital media by incorporating visuals. Radio is not just for the listening anymore. Most big radio stations have a function where you can turn on the camera in the studio to watch for example a live interview with an artist or a band playing their music live. If I use the example of Radio 1, they have moments were you can not only listen on your traditional radio but you can also watch their programs on your laptop, press the red button on your TV or even watch on your mobile phone or tablet. There are so many different platforms they are using to get people involved in many different ways. Not only are they using visual aids but they are also using social media and twitter to get people listening, watching, engaging and creating.
I listen to a lot of podcasts as I think they’re an interesting and new way to learn and find out information. As most if them come out weekly they are a really up to date medium. I recently found an interesting podcast called Mediatwits on a website called Mediashift. The show is hosted by Mark Glaser who is the editor of Mediashift. The podcast covers a whole range of news stories and features and includes different journalists and media people each week. It normally focuses on digital media. It is very informative but can also be funny at the same time, which makes it an entertaining listen. Give it a go, you can listen on Soundcloud or I’ll post last week’s podcast in the link below. Last week’s show is about twitter and Apple so pretty topical.