Category Archives: formal posts

the youtube video

Week 9:
A) Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the systemof celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269). Discuss ONE of these arguments giving an example of a YouTube video (embed it into post). Specify chosen argument in your answer.

So for this week, instead of the usual posting, I’ve decided to make a YouTube video to state my opinions!

So one example of a “home made” celebrity who isn’t controlled by the old media would be Luan Legacy.

He talks about anything he wants, he doesn’t rely on media for information, instead, he creates topics which can range from anything that has happened to him in a day.

Here’s one of his videos which I found rather hilarious.

A classic example of how media isn’t controlling this guy right here! He has over 9000 subscribers to his channel, and over 23,000 followers on his twitter account. I can’t seem to think of how he is being controlled by the older forms of media because as said in my earlier video, he’s not flouting copyright laws, he’s not relying on other forms of media for news sources. Instead, he is skillfully using the media to his advantage.

With more people like these, it definitely shows that “home made celebrities” are definitely using creative ways to break out of the system that celebrities are native to. In fact, I’d say they’re actually challenging the mass media to come up with better programmes!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Week 11:
B) Medosch argues that: “piracy, despite being an entirely commercially motivated activity carried out in black or grey markets, fulfills culturally important functions” (Reader, page 318).Discuss ONE of these arguments while giving an example online.

The good, the bad and the ugly. Nobody likes pirates. The only pirate people like is Captain Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m guessing a large factor is because he is, after all, Johnny Depp. Pirates hijack boats, kill people, steal jewelry and money. They terrorise people. Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, simply because pirates terrorise the area.

But alas, those are not the only pirates. There are pirates who are seemingly less dangerous, but have the ability to cause damage too! Yup, I’m referring to pirates who make copies of movies, videos, video games, and sell them off at a cheap price.

Who has…
1) bought a pirated DVD/VCD/video game etc.
2) watched a movie from an illegal source? Torrents, DVDs…
3) played video games off a pirated web host, or on an illegal stream server?

This list isn’t exhaustive.

I found this images online
piracy
Credits to 

File sharing
Credits to Tim Groeneveld

As the above images state, by making a copy, you aren’t stealing the movie. But what about the money earned from it?  Shouldn’t it go to the producers and actors?  Why is it going to you?

People are wondering why these few dollars would impact the film industry. But statistics don’t lie. The movie industry lost US $25 billion worldwide to date (Movie Piracy Losses by Country 2011). These few dollars add up to billions lost.

A total of 141,030 jobs were lost in the US due to piracy (Ernesto 2006). How would you feel if ALL of your family members lost their jobs due to piracy? And you were the one contributing to their loss of a job because you joined your friends for a stay over and you guys watched pirated DVDs all night long?

That changes things doesn’t it?

However, with the cons of piracy, some the pros too. Medosch (2008) argues that “piracy… fulfills culturally important functions”, and this can be expanded in the next few points

1) By watching pirated movies, you’re  able to obtain knowledge once not available to you (Medosch 2008).

2) The “poor” will have equal access to what the “rich” have. Why should the rich be allowed access to information, while the poor are deprived? Piracy thus, helps close the gap between social classes.

3) By obtaining newfound knowledge, it does close the gap between culture, race and country. We feel more connected with the rest of the world, watching, reading, doing what they’re able to do. Like Medsoch (2008) argues, it’s not always about the money. We now have unlimited access to everything.

4) Piracy has created jobs for the jobless and uneducated. What they’re doing may not be right, but what other choices do these people have?

Take Indonesia as an example. Children with tattered clothes and no shoes are selling pirated DVDs. What other choices did they have? With no education, with no money for education, how can the poor be educated? And because Indonesia’s government is corrupted, the poor do not get help. Surely it’s the government’s job to help these people. And in a really warped way, does this then mean the government has played a part in piracy too? At least, with the small amount of money earned, they can support themselves, and hopefully be “less poor”. It is a naïve thought, but fact is: piracy has helped create jobs, as much as it has destroyed jobs.

Most may argue that the cons outweigh the pros, just because money is lost, jobs are lost, people aren’t being ethical.

What are your thoughts on piracy? Do you agree that in some way, it has helped the world move forward together? For those who want a good read on piracy, here’s a link. The comments made gives great insight too.

References

Ernesto 2006, Torrent Freak, viewed 19 May 2011,.” target=”_blank”>http://torrentfreak.com/the-cost-of-movie-piracy-to-the-us/.

Medosch, A 2008, ‘Paid in Full: Copyright, Piracy and the Real Currency of Cultural Production’, in Deptforth. TV Diaries II: Pirate Strategies, London, Deptforth TV, pp. 73-97

Movie Piracy Losses by Country 2011, Havocscope Black Markets, viewed 19 May 2011, http://www.havocscope.com/movie-piracy-losses-by-country/ .

The CC License

Week 10:
Following week 10 tutorial’s exercise, explain why you chose the Creative Commons license that you added to your blog and discuss the relevance (or not) of adding the license.

See the little rectangle on the right of my blog with small circles and random drawings? That’s my Creative Commons (CC) License.

The CC License came about when people felt that the Copyright license was too much of a hassle to go through, and people did not know when certain works could be used, in one way of another. An example would be wanting to use a song for a school project, but you’re not sure if you can, because the song is copyrighted.

That’s when the CC License comes into place. It allows users to know what they can, or cannot do with each article of work. The CC Licenses allows authors to share their works, yet retain certain rights (Medosch 2008). It makes things easier now, doesn’t it? This CC License saves people time of having doing checks! You’re also able access creative works without being sued for copyright (Garcelon 2009)!

One of the main issues to using the CC license is that others may edit your work, improve on it, and sell it commercially (Garcelon 2009). Would you be ok with that?

I’m honestly not comfortable with the idea of letting someone use my work for commercial purposes, but I’m fine with them editing my work. Thus the reason for my CC License.

My rationale: if someone can improve on my work, why not? We’re trying to make the world a better place to be in, for it to be connected. This is my way of helping, allowing someone to use it my work and improve on it. We’ll all benefit in that way, especially in the areas of research.

For me to have come up with certain works, I would have leeched ideas from many places, then put them together. Take the idea of Reese’s peanut butter cups.  They were formed by peanut butter and chocolate. I’d be humbled if someone took my idea and proposed a better one, and thanked me for being his/her inspiration.

Connectivity has helped make the world a better place. There is even a World Creativity and Innovation Week where people come together to celebrate the new ideas that have been shared. During the week, people are also encouraged to put together 2 or more ideas, and come up with something even better.

What I’m not ok with, is when someone uses my works, makes it better, then sells it for commercial purposes. Worst still, if they did not credit me in any way. Should I not get a part of your profits since I was the one who came up with the work? All you had to do was to edit it, and make it better. Editing is much easier compared to coming up with something entirely different. While I value interactivity and connectivity, I do not wish to encourage plagarism, what’s more, for a profit.

Here are the descriptions of the varying licenses. Alternatively, you can click here to have a look.

Creative Commons License
1) attribution CC BY
+ You can make copies, remix and distribute the owner’s, be it for research or commercial purposes.
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified.

Creative Commons License
2) Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
+ You can make copies, remix and distribute the owner’s, be it for research or commercial purposes.
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified. When you come up with your own “remix”, or adaptation, the owner should be credited too. You may only distribute your work under the same, or similar license.

Creative Commons License
3) Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND
+ You can make copies and distribute the owner’s work, be it for research or commercial purposes.
– Do not alter or edit the work in any way.
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified. When you come up with your own “remix”, or adaptation, the owner should be credited too. You may only distribute your work under the same, or similar license.

Creative Commons License
4) Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC
+ You can make copies, remix and distribute the owner’s work.
– Do not use this work for commercial purposes
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified.

Creative Commons License
5) Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA
+ You  can make copies, remix and distribute the owner’s work.
– Do not use this work for commercial purposes
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified. When you come up with your own “remix”, or adaptation, the owner should be credited too. You may only distribute your work under the same, or similar license.

Creative Commons License
6) Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
+ You  can make copies and distribute the owner’s work
– Do not use this work for commercial purposes
– Do not make it seem as if the owner is endorsing your work.
– Do not alter or edit the work in any way.
Keep in mind: Attribute work in the way that owner has specified.

ANY conditions can be waived, as long as you get permission from the owner personally.

So as you can see, number 1 is the most flexible license. It’s as if you’ve stuck gold if you chance upon a piece of work with this license. On the other hand, number 6 is the most restrictive. You can’t make any changes to the work; the work is not to be used for commercial purposes… and depending on how you feel about people using your work, editing it, be it for commercial or other purposes, it’ll affect the license you choose.

References

Creative Commons 2011, Creative Commons, California, viewed 20 may 2011 from  <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/&gt;.

Garcelon, M 2009, ‘An Information Commons? Creative Commons and Public Access to Cultural Creations’, New Media & Society, pp. 1307-1326.

Medosch, A, 2008 ‘Paid in Full: Copyright, Piracy and the Real Currency of Cultural Production’, in Deptforth. TV Diaries II: Pirate Strategies, London, pp. 73-97.

Can privacy and problem solving go hand in hand?

Week 5:
Analyse critically the following statement by Mark Zuckerberg while comparing it to privacy issues raised by online social networking collaborative practices: http://www.tubechop.com/watch/146252

Here’s a short clip by Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of social networking site, Facebook.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=sWDneu_w_HQ&start=25.89&end=38.84&cid=146252
(video can’t be embedded. Click on the link to view it!)

In the clip, he points out that
1) People tend to share more when they feel that they have control over what they share.
2) By limiting the sharing, the world becomes more connected
3) Problems faced by people would be easier to solve.

His rationale: There may be many people who face similar problems. When they share it, there is awareness, and people are able to brainstorm, and help solve the problems.


Gif Bin

Credits to lucario515

How does that work? How are we being more connected with the world, when we only allow certain people to view whatever we post on Facebook? Does this allow the rest of the world to interact with me, or what I said?

The fact is – nothing online is private anymore (Tapscott, 2009). Cached posts, screen shots.. Let’s face it, technology is so advanced, even if the Black Box is crushed, information still can be retrieved.

Here are some statistics. According to Solove (2007), 87.8% of Facebook users reveal their birth date, 39.9% list their phone number, and an astonishing 50.8% of them list their current residence. How are we going private, when we’re putting personal information for the world to see?

How can we ensure that private data online will never be seen by others because of the “privacy controls” we have set?

Like what Joyce Chng said, the whole need to explain privacy settings is indeed ironic. Setting privacy controls do not make a world more open and connected. In fact, privacy controls limit the amount of information being shared with the public.

Numerous times, companies send me emails like these:


(own images used)

So, I shared my email with a certain company, and other companies buy my email and send me those mails? How do these emails help me solve my problems in any way? I do understand that “the Internet” wants to solve my problems, but I’m a little shocked that they’ve predicted the problems I may, or may not face in the future.

In reality, the more you control over what you share on the internet, the less your personal information is spread. Thus, whatever “problems” one may have, it’s hard to get the world to solve it together, because only a few “trusted” people in your social networking site would be able to see the problem.

For those interested in looking at the full-length video (I didn’t just take it out of context), here it is

I admit social networking has helped us:
1) Keep in touch with friends around the world
2) Share views on topics of interest
3) Being able to spread awareness on issues

Point 3 probably has the biggest impact in solving problems, and indeed, it has been one of the more useful tools in social networking. It’s probably what Zuckerberg was referring to. I just don’t get how making your privacy setting to be set as “super restricted” will help you solve problems.

Matt Cohler, Facebook’s former strategy chief once said “Privacy meant it’s a secret, or it’s something that I don’t share with other people” (Tapscott. 2009). However, for the new generation privacy means being able to control what you share with others, not keeping information totally private (Tapscott. 2009). Have definitions changed?

Maybe I’ll ask my 5 friends (I can’t trust the other 600 of them so only 5 can see what I post) on facebook and see if they’re able to solve this problem for me.

References
Tubechop. 2011, ‘Extract form Mark Zuckerberg on Making Privacy Controls Simple’, Tubechop, viewed 25 April 2011.

Tapscott, D 2009, ‘A generation bathed in Bits’, in S Scott (eds), Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world, McGraw Hill, USA, pp. 39 – 69.

Solove, D. (2007) ‘How the Free Flow of Information Liberates and Constrains Us’, in The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 17-49.

Are bloggers more effective in informing the public?

A new wave of “journalists” and “editiors” are the bloggers. Bloggers write about anything that is of their personal interest (Leshed & Kaye 2006).

While I agree that bloggers have their own editorial independence, collaborative structure, and merit-based popularity, I don’t necessarily agree that they are more effective in informing the public.

One online political blog with editorial independence in Singapore would be The Temasek Review. Singapore’s newspapers, when concerning politics, would usually have news about the party running the state, People’s Action Party. It has little news coverage regarding the opposition parties, such as Worker’s Party or Reform Party. However, The Temasek Review publishes news about the opposition parties, thus effectively informing the public on what actually goes on behind the political scene. This is important for voters, as they may not be able to receive all information they need to cast a vote during the general election. In this aspect, bloggers then are a more popular choice should the public need to be informed effectively.

Bloggers usually first hear about news from traditional media (Davis 2001). They then form their opinions, and talk about it. Without traditional media, one would not have that much access to current news and information. Furthermore, blogs are started by parties who feel the need to voice their opinions. Because opinions and emotions are usually involved (Leshed & Kaye 2006), and one can’t necessarily inform the public as effectively as they should because their writing is influenced by their thoughts.

Bloggers might not be popular based on merit, but instead on how witty they are. One example would be Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton, known for criticizing celebrities. He has the power to make or break someone else’s reputation. Isn’t it scary that our reputation is ours, yet, our reputation depends on other people to shape it? As Solove (2007) states, our reputation “reflects who we are”, and yet, “it is not solely our own creation”. As readers, we have to make sure that we know both sides of the story. If we just take the blogger’s points and disregard underlying issues, the blogger then has failed to inform the public effectively in any sense then.

Although most online editorials do not have gatekeepers, there are certain laws that prevent one from blogging his/her thoughts that come to mind (Niles 2010). This means that one is still bound to the law while blogging. In this case, the law acts as the invisible gate-keeper, and one might be unable to inform the public of issues that might be seen as sensitive.

Collaborations may also affect the way a blogger writes. The benefits of a sponsored product may be exaggerated just because the products are sponsored. This then does not effectively inform the public about the product itself.

Thus, I do not feel that bloggers are more effective in informing the public just because they may have their own collaborations and editorial independence. Both traditional media and interactive media have their strengths and weaknesses. However, unless we find the right balance, at the end of the day, we will still decide to trust traditional forms of media regarding credible news. It may be slower than the Internet, but it has been around for years, compared to the many blogs available online which may open for a day, and be closed down the next.

References
Lesheg, G & Kaye, J. J 2006, Understanding How Bloggers Feel: Recognizing Affect in Blog Posts, Montreal, Canada, viewed 26 April 2011,  <http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~jofish/writing/recognizing-bloggers-affect.pdf&gt;.

Davis, R 2008, A Symbiotic Relationship Between Journalists and Bloggers, President and Fellows of Harvard College, United Kingdom, viewed 26 April 2011, <http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/publications/papers/discussion_papers/d47_davis.pdf&gt;.

Niles, R 2010, On the Internet, no one has to be a gatekeeper, but everyone can be, OJR: The Online Journalism Review, California, viewed 26 April 2011,  <http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/robert/201008/1873/&gt;.

Solove, D. (2007) ‘How the Free Flow of Information Liberates and Constrains Us’, in The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 17-49.