Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chapter 2 Spreadable Media

We are in a time where technologies make it easier for ordinary people to take media into their own hands. They are able to create, share, and express themselves in every possible media channel. Many of the tools allow for them to store, correct, remix, and redistribute content from media as a mode of creative expression. Practices, institutions, and ways of doing things have developed around those tools. Examples include fan communities, groups of gamers, blogging population, and various subcultures online. What these groups have in common is that they have environments that are supportive in which to create and share what you create with others that there is a real respect for the creative process and there is an assumption that whoever is a reader can become a writer and whoever is a consumer can just become a producer. There’s a training process in which professionals help newcomers acquire the skills to be involved and their system of distribution which allow for them to give feedback on a regular basis. In chapter, authors Joshua Green, Sam Ford, and Henry Jenkins help illustrate the meaning of appraisal, the physical world vs. the digital world, and how YouTube has become such a success.

Chapter two gives us a better idea on how term “appraisal fits in with media theory. According to the book, appraisal is defined as a negotiation between different systems of evaluation, determining not only the object’s value but also how that value can be measured. For example, a gold coin can have many different levels of value; the value of the gold, the value of the coin as a historical object, a collector’s interest in the coin, or how valuable the coin is to a certain person or family.  The television show, Antiques Roadshow, and the online auction site, eBay are two places where they use this form of appraisal.   By placing value on a product, both the antique show and eBay are able to see how much a product is worth. However, the antique show uses professionals to estimate their market value versus eBay allowing users to determine a products market value.

Another concept the chapter discusses is how material goods versus digital goods are shared. The book uses the example of someone giving a bottle of wine as a gift. Once they give it away, they longer have possession of the wine and once the receiver is finished, they longer have the wine either. However, if one was to share a copy of a song through Bluetooth, both parties can have possession of the product. These digital goods can be shared, sold, or gifted without the owner ever loosing possession over the digital good.

Created by three former PayPal employees in 2005, YouTube has come a long way since its beginnings. Like AtomFilms, YouTube displays a wide variety of independent videos. This included “Hollywood” movie clips, television show clips, music videos, and again, a wide variety of amateur created videos such as video blogging “vlogging”, short original videos, and educational videos. YouTube can define as “user-friendly.” From your casual viewers, to your independent producers anyone can use YouTube. With this access to an easy interface, many users have taken to this site as there way of expressing themselves.

In my final conclusion, this chapter opens us to a world we are all familiar with but may not fully understand the importance of our digital world. This chapter helps us understand the difference of how the physical world and digital world determine the value of their goods. It also reminds us how YouTube and other sites like it have allowed a new culture emerge and utilize this new technology to express themselves and continue spreadable media.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sex Sells

Easiest way to money and followers on the internet is unfortunately sex.  I say unfortunate only because we, as mankind could strive for better things. However, there is no denying the fact that the reason why certain shows on HBO get so many viewers or why music videos gain so much popularity.   It is the same reason why the porn industry made over $1 billion dollars over the past year. Additionally, according to Nayar, Americans have spent $200 million on fee-based adult sites. So how does our society allow this product to sell so easily on the internet?
Internet laws towards sexual content can be very unclear. When investigating such sites, one cannot always determine between what is porn or something that is considered art. In terms of gender roles, the difference between porn and erotica can mean two completely different things. Erotica is basically the old ways of sexual explicit content. It has been used for many years as essentially an art style of sex and nudity. It’s much less cheap and degrading as porn, however some consider porn to be the new erotica.

The online game known as Second Life allows people to recreate themselves as “avatars.” Through this game, many people try out different life styles from their real life. Additionally, this game allows for players to pursue online relationships. As a result, these online relationships are escalated through cybersex.  In the game, players can change what clothes they are wearing or their physical features to increase the cybersex pleasure.  Because of these actions, cybersex viewed as a new culture of social interaction between anonymos people. 

This newly forming culture has even sparked the interest in feminists. Currently, among the feminist, there are two sides to the topic. One side feels that cybersex is liberating for women. This can relate to women who may feel that they are unattractive in real life and seek a way out. On the other hand, some feminist see cybersex as intimidation and exploitative. They believe that, even in the cyber world, that women are still victimized and disrespected.

The internet has given sex immense power. Billions of dollars are ranked it through sexual content on the internet.  Cybersex has become a new form of culture of social interaction between anonymous people.  Through cyberspace and cybersex, women men and women feel they are able to express themselves that they would not normally do in the real world. Ultimately, humanity will have to choose how they practice and view sex the further we advance our society.