The Final Blog Post

For the final blog post I thought I would talk about how being visible online is not always seeing as a bad thing especially if you link it with the network self and being part of an online community. The way I will explain is through the way Taylor Swift has used social media to connect with her fans which she would not have been able to do if they were not visible online.

In 2014 when Christmas was approaching Taylor Swift used social media to research her super fans on various social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr over a period of time. After researching some of her super fans she selected carefully chosen presents for them and sent it to them.

By studying her fans she was able to give her fans the gift that she knew they really wanted. I believe this is an example of how people who belong in an community online can feel they have a place in their community as they have been recognised by the person who is the reason why they are a part of the community but it also shows how it is not always a bad thing when it comes to visibility online.

If these super fans were on private accounts Taylor Swift would not have been able to find them and selected them as well as if they were not part of the online community she would not have been able to find them.

Similarly she did something similar for the launch of here 1989 album which can been seen being explained here.

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I also believe it shows how celebrities have been an influence on our visibility online as some people want to be recognised by their idol however they need to be visible online to be recognised by them.

I think this example illustrates how you need to be visible online (to an extent) to gain something out of the experience and it is not always a bad thing to be visible online.

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Copyright – PR Week

An example of a piece of content that comes to mind when it comes to having access to it online unless you have paid for it is PR Week. PR Week is a site which is useful for my course and luckily for us the university has a subscription fee to it meaning we can access all the content on the website.  The PR Week subscription includes the essential mix of breaking news, industry views and an in-depth analysis which is available whenever you need it. It provides the must up to date information which includes an expert analysis, industry profiles and investigations and the latest career information within the industry. It also covers in depth features from business issues to everyday life in the comms industry.

PR Week would still exist if there wasn’t a subscription or under the creative common license but the quality of the content would not be what is now. If there were fewer restrictions on the subscription, meaning that you did not have to pay a subscription to PR Week, it would mean that there would not be as much in depth analysis and content that there is only. The reason for this is because people do not want to spend hours researching and providing information which is of value to companies and different industries to be taken used without their credit. People when doing a pitch for a client for example may try and take credit for someone’s work when taking about analysis within the pitch meaning the fact that there is a restriction means that only people who really want to know about news in public relations will want to pay for it as a opposed to just taking the information for themselves. People wouldn’t subscribe to the site just to steal the content on the site and use it as their own.

By people needing to subscribe to read certain parts of the site and having unlimited access it means that what they read can be seen as having more value as it is not free to everyone to have access to. People may appreciate the content on site more known that it is not free to everyone to look as they know that time has gone into what they reading to, in some cases, help understand what is happening in a certain industry or sector.

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How visible am I online?

As much as I want to keep information about me online private, I know it’s not the case meaning that even with the control I have on social media sites, for example, I am more visible online than I realise.

If I was to google myself nothing on the first page comes up with anything to do with myself, however that doesn’t mean I am not visible online. I, like many of you, are on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat which I do keep most on high security meaning. For instance my Facebook I have the security levels higher so that when people search they can’t find what I said or posted, they are only able to see my profile. This has nothing to do with what I post on Facebook but more to do with who I want to see what is on my Facebook. I don’t post information that I wouldn’t share to someone in person but that doesn’t mean I want everyone being able to see it as well.

I have always been cautious of what I post online and even more so now when it comes to going to getting jobs as it easy now for future employers to look us up. Anything that is online is available to someone that you do not know or intend to what to know but that part is out of our control. We can only control so much on what we put online and who can see it online. Once we have signed the terms and condition and gave away details such as our email address then it we are more visible online than we realise and it’s also out of our control. We consider what we post and sign up to but not what might be the consequences to signing up to something may be. We don’t consider who see our email and personal information but we consider who might see our posts and we should be considering who sees our personal information online.

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The Student Room

One positive example of an online community which came to mind was The Student Room which is online website/forum for students taken GCSE’s through to students at university to ones who are graduating and looking for a job. It offers advice at each qualification and allows students across the country to communicate and help each as sometimes students may learn something being explained in another way which may have been shared on the forum. It also allows students for example to ask questions about university meaning students in college applying to university can ask current students at the universities they are thinking about a question which their college may not be able to answer or it is question more students.

It is a positive online community because it allows students to connect together and help each other unlike other online communities as students use The Student Room to seek advice and help mainly in education but it can also be in other areas meaning they are able to gain advice from someone who may have been through the same situation or didn’t understanding something in a subject area.  All student from each qualification level can benefit from using The Student Room as, if they are unsure about something the chances are another student in the country has felt the same or is feeling the same thing.

A limitation for The Student Room as an online community is that it is a big forum and there is always a chance that what you may put on the forum may not be seen or no one may respond to it which can make the individual feel ignored as they felt that they go to an online community for help. People use online forums as a place of feeling they would be heard or my have the confidence online to ask something and not in person so if someone has been ignored it make knocked them in confidence, not all the time but some individual it can do.

Example of Audience Participation

One example of where content has been significantly shaped by its audience online is the content for vloggers, taking Charlie Mcdonnell’s as a more specific example. What most vlogger do is ask their audience for ideas for their next vlog or what they would like to see them do and cover in their next vlog. Charlie Mcdonnell’s vlogs, when he started, use to be him asking his audience so submit what challenges they would like him to next. You can watch an example of one of the challenges here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpJ3yzUPbL0

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This allowed the audience to be in control to some extent of what would be the main theme to the vlog. Charlie, like many other vloggers, would upload a weekly video then ask their viewers to suggest ideas in the comments. It is one way in which they keep up the amount of viewers they have as many will watch to see if what they have said and suggested has made the video. If it has been used the viewer will feel more involved in the video as they provided the content to an extent for that particular vlog.

What this illustrates is how vloggers rely a lot on their audience to provide content for the vlogs and without their contribution most vlogs may not be as success as they are now as the audience feel as though they are a part of the vlog. It is the audience which run and provide content for vloggers as without the audience it could be argued that vlog wouldn’t be as successful as they are now as it has become about involving its audience to be a part of the vlog and listening to what they have to say.

 

Example of Convergence

One example of convergence, that is an obvious one, is the smartphone. With smartphones now, we are able to not only phone and text people but are able to take a  photos, watch TV or films, play games and listen to music. We are also able to get applications which can include social media as well news application. What the news applications mean is that we can consume news in different ways in terms of new media as well as old media. Smartphones also allow us to have access to the internet whilst on the go. We can get this all on one device.

What this could mean though is that they are designed to simplify everything by putting it on one device though now it could be seen as becoming more complicated for some.

One implication for the audiences with smartphones is to do with the information overload that they bring and some can find it difficult and overwhelming to use. With the rapid change in technology, it can be argued it has led to have caused an obstruction in the audience’s activity.

Another implication for the audience with smartphones is that with a smartphone more or less everything you need is on one device however this means that they are also expensive to buy meaning that they are not accessible to everyone. It can also mean that people who are used to the traditional media forms may have to learn to receive and use other technology to gain information. The ways news is produced is also effected as it needs to now consider the new platforms people can consume the news on.

Speech – Security and Privacy in the Internet age

One resource that I found which I believe can be useful during the module is a speech from the government’s website about security and privacy on the internet.  https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/security-and-privacy-in-the-internet-age

The reason as to why I think that it will be useful resource is because it is about what the previous government highlighted as being the main issues with security and privacy on the internet were. We are able to see if the government have done anything that may affect the privacy and security on the internet or whether they will do something about it.

It is allowing us to see how the government also feel on the subject of privacy and security on the internet meaning that we able to see where they stand on the subject so can see how much of an issue it actually is. The fact that the government feel the need to address the issue of security and privacy on the internet shows how serious it can, and has become, since the government feel the need to more about it.

What I found most interesting within the speech was the fact it reinforced the idea that the legal framework, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, was written 14 years ago before the internet revolution had begun. What this means is that in terms of legal frameworks, it may need to overlooked again as a lot has changed within 14 years and more change is likely to happen so it is interesting to see the government’s view on the issue. It was also interesting how in the speech, is what they recommend and would like to this government do next since the speech was made during the coalition government.

Also the questions that were posed during the speech:

  • “are the capabilities of the state proportionate to the risks we face?
  • do we have the right legal frameworks to protect our citizens’ human rights, freedom of communication and privacy, even as technology develops?
  • do we have the right oversight regime so that the agencies and those who work in them are held to account for their activities within those frameworks?
  • are we completely unstinting in the pursuit of transparency so that we are always confident that secrecy – where it is used – is a necessity, rather than simply a habit?”

I found interesting because it is these question that should now start being brought into mainstream of political debates, it is to be said. If these questions were to be questioned in the mainstream of political debates it would be interesting what would said and how they would address these questions. In the speech, they mention how President Obama has done it in America so we should now follow.