The Global Village

My last blog post and I though I would end it with a video. In this video Lee Rainie talks about the impact of the internet on the global village and how the internet has brought international information to each corner of the earth.



Who is really one the other side of the screen

On the other side of social media coin there’s a chance for people to create an appearance that is a façade.


There are shows like MTV’s ‘Catfish’ that try to uncover the identity of people trying to fool others online by pretending to be something or somebody they are not online. Most of the time these people online pretending to be other people online have done it out of being bullied in their real lives and create the person they want to be online. Many studies have shown this same connection in online gamers, creating the kind of heroic person they aspire to be online as an escape from their real lives.

Tech of the self

Due to the mobile and accessible nature of mobile technologies, also with 90% of the world owning a mobile  it is no wonder that it seems to be everyone seems to preoccupied with the small screens in their hands than the world around them. The internet is no longer restricted to desk top computers, the new generation of mobile phones or smart phones offer internet capabilities for those on the go. As this new technology has enhanced people’s lives it has also cluttered their lives with this constant connectivity. Rarely any more are people disconnected from the internet and being preoccupied with what is happening on the World Wide Web has taken away from the users experience with the world around them.

Not only does this constant link with the rest of the world offer a chance to be kept up to date but it also offers others a chance to track you. Many social media applications such as Instagram take your location whenever you share something. With many users not reading the terms and conditions they are completely un aware that they are giving others the chance to track all their movements through the apps on their phones.

This whole ‘big brother is watching you’ aspect has two sides to it really. At one point the user enjoys showing off their lives as if they were a celebrity to all their friends, posting photos and sharing their thoughts they have been conditioned to want the ‘likes’ or approval of those in their online community.  But on the other side it’s about who is looking at the content you post which is made even more terrifying by the phrase ‘digital information never dies’.


Thinking of the topic of media convergence where media cross over multiple platforms. One of the most notable examples it the ‘Bert is evil’ saga. 

       A high school student purely out of his own entertainment photo-shopped Sesame Street’s Bert into photos with famous dictators and then set up a website displaying his work. How ever this would have been all fun and games until a protester searched for photos of Osama bin Laden on Google and printed one of the doctored photos with Bert in it. This photo then found its way to CNN. This is just one example of how media can cross different platforms, from its starting point of a children show, to Photoshop, to a website where the character took on a whole new identity. Then printed out and placed on picket signs this picture then made its way around the world through the coverage of this protest. 

How ever this isn’t just an isolated case of texts converging over platforms and gaining new meaning.

 George Orwell s 1984 converged from a book to a movie.

The Trailer: 


Then apple adopted the ideas of fighting against a totalitarian government in their advertising campaign. Their ad in the Superbowl cited 1984 and aimed to show consumers that the market for software didn’t have to just be dominated by IBM and that competition was good for them allowing the consumer more freedom and choice.   
The Super Bowl Ad:


Then a fan in 2007 took Apples ad about rising up against a ‘mind numbing dictator’ and added images of Barack Obama as the person throwing the hammer against dictator ship. 

Fans ad:

This was completely independent of Obama’s political campaign but still viewers were captured by their prior knowledge of George Orwell’s 1984 ad the ideas that it stood for.

Participatory culture and the “benefits” for producers

Not only are consumers granted the chance to discuss and build on aspects of media through forums and fan fiction, but it has also given the producers of this content the opportunity to view the reaction to plot twists (Jenkins, 2006. p.2). The act of making fan fiction displays the idea of the shift of the consumer towards the pro-sumer. The pro-sumer not only consumes said media but they also have a hand at producing it. Fan fiction takes the general plot twist and gives the audience the chance to re write any aspects they want. They can then share this online and gain feed back. 


I argue that the role of the active audience has changed the way that media is produced. Producers of media are in an age where they can gauge their audiences response to everything with such an ease never experienced before. Key groups and surveys can only give the information that the researchers ask for, but online forums give the audience a much broader scope to supply feed back. They also allow for ideas to grow and change with the influence of the audience.


Expanding audiences options

Not only has the internet it given audiences a platform for sharing their opinions but it has also given them a chance to share their own projects. Thanks to websites such as YouTube you don’t need to be famous to share your talents. Users can receive millions of views and even make careers by posting their videos to you tube, it gives the everyday person the chance to share what they can do with the rest of the world and receive recognition on it. This makes me think about the turn of power where the audience creates media for itself and instead of being told by record companies, publishing houses and television networks what is considered to be talented, funny or a piece of art. The consumer has the chance to not only have their own opinion but opportunity for them to share their opinions and talents with the globe. download

Participatory culture creating a shared culture.

As the use of the internet has grown and become more common place in our everyday lives it has given audiences a two-way channel in their consumption of certain media. This two-way channel gives audiences the opportunity to share their experiences with a vast community of people who can share their own thoughts on the same subject. Reading a book or watching a movie is no longer solely a private thing for the consumer and their surrounding physical community. Just as the internet has enabled audiences to consume their favorite media at the times that suits their lives, the internet also gives audiences a digital platform where they can engage and interact socially about their favorite television shows, books, movies, etc. The active audience member engages with communities online through forums or blogs in which they can discuss with other like-minded individuals their thoughts and opinions about the content of this specific media. Not only is the location of each audience member irrelevant but also time, due to the constant connectivity of some internet users or the time difference for each user. This sharing of ideas and opinions is not constricted to the geographic location of the user any more, the internet and the active audience has helped to progress the movement of globalization. By recognizing shared hobbies and opinions it brings the audience closer as they see their similarities.
The consumer can share their thoughts and ideas at any time of the day whether it’s while they drink their morning coffee or after they get home from their busy lives. They can gain feedback or engage in discussion at the times that suit them. There is no longer the need to wait for conventions for audience members to get together; the audience are all but a click away from their online community and a few key taps away from expressing their ideas.