Sunday, November 7, 2010

DMC Final blog

The digital media course has officially finished.The question is:- did I learn anything from it? I learnt many things from the course, both in the lectures and class discussions. We examined the methods that social media websites use to extend their networks; we learnt of the privacy concerns amongst some of the customers of websites like Facebook and YouTube. Although I had used some of these sites I was oblivious to the damage that indiscriminate posting may do to one's reputation.

Perhaps the most demanding part of the course was deciding upon the subject for argument in the final essay. It seems to be easy to answer a question  that is given as a topic, but to decide what argument to present as a paper was difficult. This is probably the greatest item I have learnt in the course. There were many others, such as the realisation that it was the younger users of the Web 2,0 who were the most distrusting of the medium.
Did I enjoy the Wiki and Blogs? I found it difficult to keep both current, especially in recent weeks. I intend to keep the blogging going for some time because I enjoy the writing down of thoughts, but the Wiki might be missing after today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First tears and now for Hilary's answers

Two items in the Herald Sun give an insight of the effect (and uses and gratifications) of the social media network in current times. One item discussed the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's proposed attendance at a meeting in a secret venue  in Melbourne this Sunday ,7 November 2010. (Deery & Dunn, 2010, p. 7) In the forum, the US Secretary of State will answer questions, from an audience targeted at mainly under 35 year olds, that are posted on Face book, Twitter and on a video link; it is a live broadcast shown on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation' s network. This inclusion of  the Twitter and Facebook social media audience shows how important this porion of the general public has become.

The second item concerned an episode of a the television serial, Packed to the Rafters, in which one of the main characters dies in a traffic accident. The article chronicles the anger, grief and frustration of the followers of this serial, with their frustrations published on the social media sites. Members of the caste of the serial said the reaction shocked them. Hugh Sheridan, the actor who portrays one of the charcters, said his Twitter site had thousands of  messages, with a range of emotions from shock to tears within minutes.  (Cantanzarita & Shearer 2010, p.13)

These two items show the strenghts of the social media First, in accessing and having dialogue between a visiting powerful, international politician and a targeted section of the general public; the second is an illustration of that section of the general public targeting the industrial media, represented by a television station.

Cantanzarita, K & Shearer, G 2010, "Soap death hits hard" Herald Sun,  4 November 2010.
Deery, S & Dunn, M 2010, "Hilary hopes to have the answers" Herald Sun,  4 November 2010.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Facebook 'restored' the Barefoot Bandit

In doing some research for my social media essay, I came across a story of a teenage burglar, being chased across the United States, with the news of his exploits, carried by his evergrowing band of fans on the social media site of Facebook. Almost immediately, the administrators reacted to, possibly, outside pressure on the fan page.  The Facebook fan club website on the teenage fugitive, Colton Harris-Moore was removed from the site.The outcry from the younger users of Facebook prompted the administrators to restore the page. In the first day it had been up, it already had 3,000 members.It was abruptly closed down on the second day, without comment, from the management.However, later that day the site was promptly restored it. The industrial media could not have reacted any quicker than the social media did  on this case, however the pressure from the social media, Facebook  public seems to have had a 'tsumani' like effect on the website.
As a poscript, the 'barefoot bandit' was captured in the Bahamas on 11 July 2010, after two years on the run from the United States authorities. By this time, the number of fans on the fan Facebook numbered 68,

It's private

In my research on trust in social media, it surprised me to find reading the statistics on the social media that on the subject of privacy; the 18 to 29 year old users mistrusted the social media sites at twice the rate older uses distrusted them. The younger the user the more they valued their privacy, removing tags from photographs, and having negative comments removed from posts. It was not just one area that younger users were more cautious but in every aspect of the social media.
I summize the reason may be that they are more aware of  their posts being read or the photographs being seen by prospective employers. The older users may possibly have the cynical view that no-one would really want to look at all these photographs or posts, a view that may have come from watching too many old home movies or wading through a library of photograph albums, filled with fading memories.Oh, for the days gone by of the Box Brownie camera.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Assange WikiLeaks on the American military

WikiLeaks, the website founded by an Australian, Julian Assange, continues to be in the news with its release of classified war documents on the Iraq and the Afghan war. release of these documents could possibly lead to casualties in other conflicts like the Afghan war, according to Neil Fergus, an Australian intelligence military expert. The massive number of documents, over 400,000, which included detailed reports taken from combat units, gave military experts in the media, and the enemies of the United States (US), detailed methods used by the US military during skirmishes. By studying these documents, it is possible that the enemies of the United States will be more capable of working out new strategies to combat US forces in wars in the immediate future, including the Afghan. As a former soldier who fought in a war zone, I feel Assange has put American servicemen in greater danger than they already faced.

As an adjunct to this story, Assange was questioned about the sexual asault charges he faced in Europe (shown as part of the original interview) but he refused to leak those details.

Wikileaks 23/10/10 accessed 24 October 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Privacy of Facebook

A situation has occurred this week, where a lawyer I know had a list of questions posted on his Facebook site by his brother. One of the questions, asked in fun by the brother, was taken to be a possible serious breach of trust by the law firm where he worked. He was questioned by the firm on whether the allegations posed in the questions were true and if not, why they were published. The brother has since taken down the offending questions, but the damage from asking such moral questions remains.

On investigating my own Facebook page, I found similar moral questions asked about my character by one of my brothers. The person posing the questions is rewarded by the site with fifty coins for every question I answer. It appears to be some competition set up by the site. I ask the question; are these questions suggested by the site or are these spiteful questions a part of my brother I was unaware he thought?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Addiction to Facebook

It was interesting to observe a group of fourteen to seventeen year old Aboriginal boys and girls during the week. These are young leaders and the top academic students from the Eastern Goldfield College and High Schools in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. They were visiting La Trobe looking at the facilities in case they decide to travel interstate to attend university. The immediate attraction from the moment they arrived was to get on the computer and access their Facebook site.

There were equal numbers of male and female students, numbering twenty in total. What I found interesting was that all the girls accessed their Facebook and spent almost all the time they had spare responding to it; however not one male touched the computer, preferring to sit around and chat. Is Facebook a predominent female activity? I had not noticed this gender disparity before and this question had me searching for the answers. In lectures most of the males seem to acknowledge they use Facebook or social media to stay in touch with their friends.