Are we clogging the internet with our baggage?

Since writing an essay on the consumer society and then taking this module, I have become really interested in the different ways the media and network influence our choices and in life. Also how our online choices affect the network?

As we live in a digital age it is very easy to grow accustom to adverts trolling our screens, with pop ups that replicate our browsing history to make us buy that pair of shoes we looked at three weeks ago. In response to Andrew Keen’s book ‘The cult of the amateur: How today’s Internet is killing our culture and assaulting our economy’ (Keen, 2007) he speaks of how we invest our time watching a video on YouTube ‘that turns out to have been produced by a corporation with a vested interest in shaping consumer’s opinions’ (Keen, 2007, P64) It dampens what we are actually watching the video for, we stop consuming for entertainment and start consuming their paid advertisement. Williamson (1986) pens that advertisement is everywhere, where we work, study and play.

Keen then goes on to explain the ideologies of Huxley, the ‘Infinite monkey theory’ in which Huxley believes that if you provide a infinite amount of monkeys with typewriters eventually a chimp somewhere will create a masterpiece. This connects to social media in the way that the majority of people have access to a form of social media, but unlike these monkeys creating masterpieces, we are creating ‘an endless digital forest of mediocrity’.

As a frequent user of social media and the internet, It is becoming more apparent that the internet maybe is not only providing a huge facility for communication and all the useful things the internet has to offer. The internet comes with allot of baggage, like trollers, pop ups, endless amounts of blogs and MEMES just to name a few.

I am undecided still as to whether our need to share, like and retweet is a good form of participation but that kind of interaction does mean we can can control and shape the internet and online media.let-me-introduce-you-to-the-internet-meme


Let’s start a Twitter Mob.

Most Social media site’s biggest component is audience participation. The site in particular I want to focus on is Twitter. 

Twitter has more than 100 million users and only launched in 2006. By March 2011, there was about 140 million tweets being posted daily. Not unlike most social media sites, without the users the application would’t have much to offer. Twitter does have news and information built into the App now, with most magazines and news outlets having their own accounts but the information they post isn’t exclusive to twitter. For example people are always going to want to read the news and twitter probably isn’t the first place they ooh for it, even though it is becoming more popular. I believe this example of news outlets use twitter as self promotion and advertising. If we took these news profiles and advertisements away we would still be left with lots of tweeters. 

Therefor the driving force behind Twitter are the ‘Amateurs’  the people who tweet everyday, the people who tweet their lunch. The audience participation is what makes the website what it is. As a tweeter you can use Hashtags to start your own Twitter Mob (not that you would want to)  try and talk to your favourite Kardashian and even promote yourself on a professional networking platform.  kliom


We can watch Radio now?

Visuals in radio is not a new concept, Popular stations have been creating visualisation for some time now. That may be with pictures shared on twitter or Instagram, but I think radio’s biggest convergence is with YouTube.

BBC Academy held a master class talking about which Radio stations are using visual techniques to the best affect and why has it become popular. They discuss an early example of audio visualisation from the 1930s and debate if it’s desirable or possible for all audio content to have a visual element. They had guests such as BBC One and Radio one Xtra head of short form content Joe Harland, Charlie Sloth the DJ and photofilm creator Peter Rudge from digital agency Duckrabbit. Sloth says “Visualised radio is the future. For me, it’s the saviour of radio.” which I agree with in some aspects, Visualised radio is the future…but I don’t think it is the saviour…I don’t love Radio because I can go onto youtube and watch what they are doing in the studio, yes it is a good thing we have it there but Radio would still be Radio without Visuals.

The coming together of Radio and Visuals for me is a form of convergence that is most detrimental to myself and the career I want to explore. It means I can use more skills to create content and also don’t have to worry about my work being blind as now we have the freedom to cross over into visuals. It’s implications to the user could be that Radio turns from a multitasking media (they can listen and do the washing up) to something they need to concentrate more on, more content to ingest. Although they may feel more involved or invested in content as they can see more of it.

Here is a great example of Radio Visuals, BBC Radio one’s game ‘Innuendo Bingo’, A game that is broadcast on the radio but if you were just to listen to it would be just a lot of spluttering noises. The two young guys playing the game are famous YouTuber’s Casper Lee and Marcus Butler, having them on the Radio one show and YouTube channel will bring in thousands of more listeners and being watching.





BuzzFeed is more than Disney Quizzes!

Although BuzzFeed may be perceived as a website used only for procrastination, Believe it or not it does have more to it than ‘What Disney Princess are you?’ Quizzes and ’26 Things Everyone who is slightly obsessed with wine will just get’ lists.

If you can break away from the Homepage onto some of the other tabs (yes there are other tabs) such as News, Business, Food, Science, LGBT and Podcasts just to name a few. You will actually find some extremely useful and knowledgeable information.

BuzzFeed manages to combine all trending and important news under one branding ‘BuzzFeed’ but with many different outlets including a huge YouTube following, podcasts, twitter and Apps. This aspect to BuzzFeed makes it extremely easy for students to collect and learn information easily from one website.

BuzzFeed has managed to nail social sharing to become a media giant for our generation, but why is it helpful to students? BuzzFeed actually gives really good analytics, better than some news sites, and it is faster, more hard hitting and interesting to read.


Below is a screenshot of the kind of sections on BuzzFeed.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 16.16.25.png

I also found a really great blog post about a university professor who set students the task of creating ‘Click Bait’ for BuzzFeed. The blogger called Scott Cowley who is also a marketing researcher and strategist poses an interesting point he says ‘The media giant now boasts more content sharing volume on Facebook than the New York Times, BBC, or Fox News.’ (check out the post by clicking the link)

He asked his students to write an article for BuzzFeed in the community CMS Section. Believe it or not but the class’s blog page received an average of 1,085 page views per article, partly skewed by some heavy hitting articles that soared past 10K views that week.

BUZZFEED IS GREAT! Check it out…and try not to get distracted…








History of the Internet.

The History and evolution of the Internet is something I feel has happened very quickly and very recently. Between 1969 and now, it has developed from Arpanet to the PC modern to the world wide web, all the way through to what is our modern idea of the Internet. What is the most surprising to me is how easily we have all adapted to the internet and starting contributed towards online content. When Stanford University and UCLA connected for the first time using Arpanet, They were essentially the first hosts of the Internet. The process now of talking to someone from another university let alone someone from the other side of the world is achievable in seconds, with a number of options to choose from when connecting including twitter, Facebook, Skype or good ‘old fashioned’ Email.

From the further reading From counterculture to cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the rise of digital utopianism By Fred Turner, Turner speaks stated that in the mid-1990s, when the internet and the world wide web was introduced to the public there was “talk of revolution filled the air”. Understanding the impact the internet may have had on someone who wasn’t brought up with it being accessible is very interesting to me. Which brings me back to the surprise of human interaction with someone so new and complicated, I believe this is what enabled the internet grow so quickly.

Google old skl

One of the original Google pages.