Final Post

From my perspectives, the most interesting thing of this module is how it linked all the subjects together and the contents of each week undoubtedly came out so well and far more fascinating than I expected. The topics are provocative and well-structured every week.

Week 2 “Understanding Technology”covers some points that linked to week 5 “Privacy and Surveillance”, which I deeply keen on the social privacy nowadays. Because not many people realised that their personal data is being recorded, stored and tracked, it would be better if we raised more interesting stories, not just theories, that actually happened to analyse around privacy rights invasion by Facebook, third party surveillance…

Besides, convergence in the media concepts also relates a lot with week 9 “Memes and remix cultures”. Thanks to the converged media industry, new “trendy” concepts are established that show how rapid our culture and society adapt to the digital era and develop in every direction. Combining with the topic “Internet Then And Now”, we can understand the transformation of Internet, how it converge and create remix cultures. All topics linked together logically, which enables us to have a solid knowledge and different aspects of network, society and media.

The subjects took us to a larger picture of media landscape by looking at in-depth theoretical analysis but still highlighted intriguing, thought-provoking points.

 

 

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Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is the first example that came to my mind when mentioning subscription-based online services. Amazon Prime offers a wide variety of services from groceries to e-books, films, music, TV shows…, unlimited one-day delivery on your Amazon orders in the UK, safe photo storage and 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals (800,000 e-books and 15,000 movies and TV episodes). One of the best things is that they set half price for students and 20% off for families.

Imagine Amazon Prime was under Creative Commons licence, users will no longer have to pay for the annual membership fee but certain things will change. Unlike Netflix, which will disappear because they cannot broadcast media contents for free online. This service might survive but the content will not be guaranteed, but no 4K-video quality, limited numbers of products, one-day delivery service will not be available and there have to be more advertisements, for sure. Amazon will try the best ways to keep the consumers by making it appealing enough for them and still beneficial for the producer. Therefore, Amazon Prime might only provide a certain range of media terms but average quality. The money base will be mainly from adverts so they will appear quite a lot during watching or reading time.

Services like Amazon Prime, Netflix,…should stay under strict copyright restrictions as they will keep improving the media contents’ quality, consumer experiences, availability and convenience. You get what you pay for, so, invest some money but better results in return is more worth trying.

My Online Status

I use social media every day, as it has become an essential part of my life not only in education and communication but it is a platform for me to express my opinions and discussions online.

I am definitely visible on social network sites because I use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat regularly and sometimes on Pinterest and Tumblr. I spend 60% of the time on the Internet considering I’m at the university and at my workplace. I reveal my information depending on which social network sites because some sites make me feel that I am being controlled and watched. The content I put on the Internet is basically my username, my favourite photos, my friends’ photos and status. On social media, I hid all private information, just showing my username publicly so I got more space and felt like sharing, talking about a topic, expressing myself and criticising any issues in a comfortable way because my identity remained anonymous, especially on Pinterest and Tumblr.

But I do not have the same feelings with Facebook. When I want to post anything, I would rather go with Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest than Facebook because it has restrictions and you have someone monitor and control what you are posting. Also, Facebook keeps tracks of cookies on my devices and websites I visited before. Therefore, I am reluctant to post any information, photos and status when knowing my privacy is being violated. Snapchat is still better because the contents will disappear after few seconds, not permanent like Facebook.

To sum up, even though I engage in most platforms of social media communication, I try my best to control my content and what to put out there. I feel visible on Instagram and Snapchat and definitely not Facebook.

SoundCloud

Online community is a new concept of virtual communication exclusively in the 21st century that has revolutionised the way we interact with each other to a global level. Nowadays, regardless of time or geographical distances, we can still manage to blend in the crowd thanks to online community via Internet.

Online community is created based on a specific site and consists of members whom we can talk, share, post, comment, argue and discuss around a shared interest. SoundCloud can be considered as a global online music community, which enables users to upload, comment, record, promote their self-recorded music sounds. It is a platform for creativity to keep growing, self-distribution and a place where there is no limitation for music passion. Moreover, listeners can “like”, “follow”, “share”, “repost” and comment or give compliment below the audio. Also, SoundCloud links with Facebook and Twitter to reach larger audience, so the connection is wider, more and more people join in the circle and the community will be expanded.  Unlike other sites, users can record the music on the spot and post it instantly only. The best thing about this site is that you can make your own music, be creative as much as you want and a good way to market your own songs. However, SoundCloud does not provide the editing tool and effects. And you have to pay more for more upload time. In addition, SoundCloud got involved in copyright issue and “negotiate a path from digital disrupter to industry-approved streaming service, without losing the community spirit that made it unique.” (Guardian, 2015)

To sum up, this is definitely a place for musicians and for those who are fed up with music market, they can go on this website to blend in the exotic music community, listen to anonymous artists and interact with people who have the same music interests.

Fan Fiction

Fan fiction is one of the examples that engage significant audience participation and contribution. Fictional stories created by fans using same characters and settings from original work. Most of the contents of these websites are contributed by the users, they are the ones who compose, upload all stories for everyone to read and comment. The websites have engaged a large number of active participants in writing, composing and publishing online. Many famous novels have been bases for fan fiction writing like Star Strek, Twilight, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones,…Harry Potter series has over 170,000 fictions and this number shows the enormous wave of active participation.

FanFiction.Net and Archive of Our Own are the two largest fanfic websites with millions of users and stories in 30 languages that allow users and readers to read, upload, review and comment. FanFiction.Net gives authors permission to contact each other through messages and link with Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts. Not only users actively contributed to the literature world, readers can also get involved in by giving feedbacks, posting comments. And the best thing about this is unlimited age, children, teenagers and adults are all welcomed to join in the creative world. Only mature contents will be restricted for under-aged people.

Unlike other types of audience participation, there must be producers making something fascinating to attract audiences. Fanfic website’s owner just create the website and audiences will automatically take part in without motivation. Additionally, it has an advantages of spreading knowledge, new aspects in same old stories and develop imagination.

Example of Convergence: YouTube

One of the most interesting examples of convergence that I deeply keen on is YouTube, “an intimate connection between video sharing and television” that is available anywhere, anytime (Jose Van Dijck, 2013).

YouTube was first introduced in 2005 and was seen as a completely new level of video sharing and watching television. This site allows users to upload, share, watch, comment, like a wide variety of videos from music videos, movie trailers, TV shows and other user-generated contribution and media corporations on all digital platforms. People are able to watch it outside website on most smartphones, tablets. YouTube also adapt itself in order to get along with the social trend, which is embedded on social networking sites and make it available on iOS and Android operating system.

YouTube is a brief example indicating the integration between a conventional industry and technological performances. From my perspectives, unlike television, which make users feel being controlled on contents, scheduled programs and too many advertisements; on the other hand, YouTube is likely to be more approachable and engaging with audiences.

As YouTube’s fast-paced development thanks to the help of technology and widepsread connectivity of social media coverage, people assume that it will be a big threat to television broadcasting. Eventually, everything must develop and I think that YouTube is just a new step in industrial mechanism revolution manifesting a different experience when watching televisions with friendlier approach in a more interactive way.

The Academic Journals

The Academic Journals is one of the greatest non-profit academic sources, which I believe is extremely essential for research. It is basically a broad-based publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals covering several areas like media and communication, engineering, medical sciences, social sciences…, which means users are allowed to get access to these journals with no costs charged.

Students have so many problems when conducting research for their essays, coursework or dissertations as we are all required to find the information from credible resources with high reputation and analysis in depth. And sometimes, it is difficult to select reliable sources among the sea of information from the Internet and we do not know if they are credible or not. Moreover, there are restrictions when accessing any academic work.

Therefore, thanks to The Academic Journals, thousands of articles and journals are now published under open access that permits users to view and read. Users are able to copy, redistribute and adapt the original work with proper citations. On this website, all articles are guaranteed in high quality, reputable sources and especially, free access for global community. Also, one of the best thing about this website is that they have ethics policy updated and they have plagiarism checker system working too.

So, I think this website will be useful for everyone’s research not only on this semester but also for the next 3 years in the university.