Sexism and Equality Online

Equality across both genders is an issue that has been debated since the start of the 20th century, and you would think after over a century we could figure it out and all would be equal, right? Well apparently not. We continue to fight this battle as we as a society are unable to see the difference between opinion and an attack. Women continue to be undermined by men and in the age of the internet, it has become a whole lot easier to do so.

Abusing someone over the internet is a whole lot easier than abusing someone to their face and the ability to stay anonymous online gives those abusers the boost they need to say whatever they want without any repercussions, which is the beauty of the internet to those who send out hate online.

The ‘Men Call Me Things’ hashtag trend on Twitter in 2011 was a backlash towards this hate online specifically the hate directed towards women. It was started by Jessica Valenti women were encouraged to tweet the misogynistic messages they had received with this hashtag in order to bring to light the intensity of this problem online. These tweets showed hateful messages they had received about rape and offensive images. These women wanted to name and shame those who had sent the messages and have the ability to send these messages be taken into police hands.

While this incident brought awareness to the misogyny that was online, it still continues today. It is generally directed to those in political positions but also any woman who moves out of the female stereotype to give their opinion online.

Moving out of this time of gender inequality is an important step society needs to take and we should be starting online.

References:

Griffin, M 2011, ‘Troll-Attack Campaign Goes Viral’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November, viewed 15 May 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/trollattack-campaign-goes-viral-20111108-1n4j4.html

Click Click Click

The idea of simply clicking a button and somehow you are helping the world is an appealing one to most. However, liking a status on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter does not really help the cause or issue that is being promoted. It simply makes us feel better about ourselves by feeling like we have made a difference.

The “No Makeup Selfie” craze that took over social media was created to raise awareness for breast cancer. Everyone began posting selfies with no make up on and it began trending on Twitter and Facebook with all the big names of Hollywood contributing as well. However did this online activism really help the cause? Many believe that it did not do anything as many of the people who did take a selfie did not actually donate to the cause. Cancer patients spoke out against it claiming that taking a selfie with no make up was not brave and did not help such as Kim Stephens. Stephens says that showing healthy faces with no makeup on did not help her in her battle as it just emphasized that she was ill.

This comes back to the original topic of clicktivism. Did the thousands of no makeup selfies create awareness for breast cancer? Or was it a form of self promotion that simply made us feel better about ourselves?

Although social media has become a tool in order to create awareness of problems and issues around the world, it can never truly have the effect of a protest of thousands of people marching through the streets. It is the physical, not virtual protests that resonate with people the most.

References:

Stephens, K 2014, ‘There’s no Bravery in No Makeup Selfies’, Brisbane Times, 28 March, viewed 6 May 2014, http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/theres-no-bravery-in-no-makeup-selfies-20140327-35lyx.html

Remix Culture on the Web

Remix culture has become more predominant in current years because of the rise in technologies and the ease of distribution across the web. Axel Bruns believes that a remix of content has the ability to attract equal to or even more attention than the original content itself. Remix culture is usually most present in music and the emergence of DJs has caused this remixing of music to grow quite rapidly due to the technology we have at our fingertips through computers and software. The song “Somebody that I used to Know” by Gotye, for instance, has been remixed many times since its release. It’s distribution through social media and platforms like YoutTube make it easily accessible. Remixes can be humourous or just a mashup of two songs, either way, whatever the purpose, they attract attention in large audiences due to the familiarlarity of the original content

However remix culture is also prominent with film. The remixing of films such as The Hunger Games in clips on the YouTube channel Bad Lip Reading generated millions of views. Although this is not the only film to be voiced over the popularity of this remix continues to grow which in turn allows remix culture to grow as well as popular culture is given a different twist which also promotes the original content that is being remixed.

Copyright issues and licensing issues can also arise from remix culture. While it is great to draw in audiences, the original content makers can lose out if copyright laws are not met. Remix culture is predominantly user created, meaning the viewers of the original content are the ones creating remixes which is why producers may not get the credit where it is due.

Remix culture has become an important part of the media and how music and film are received by audience today through the use of technologies such as social media. It is a way to promote content that producers create and has the ability to gain an even larger audience.

 

References:

Bruns, A 2010, Distributed creativity : filesharing and produsage, Sonvilla-Weiss, Stefan (Ed.), Mashup cultures, pp. 24-37.

Skype and Transmedia

Transmedia is the process of telling a story through different media outlets, described by Jenkins. This helps create diversity of a single intellectual idea to get it across to as wide an audience as possible. This concept is used to interest different audiences who may consume a transmedia product, but may not consume the original medium of the story.

Although Skype is not a transmedia technology in itself, it has the ability to promote transmedia although this is limited. An example of this includes “The Skype Show or see you in August” which is a transmedia musical that incorporates Skype in it. It is a musical that uses Skype within it to depict the story the actors are telling. It shows that the technology of Skype can transcend the distance between the actors within it in order to continue the performance.

Due to Skype’s service based technologies, it it difficult to place within the concept of transmedia. However transmedia is an important factor within convergence technologies and has created a new platform in the industries such as film, books, and gaming. With new technologies always emerging this further expands the concept of transmedia in order to get intellectual property to more audience around the world.

 

References:

Jenkins, H. 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Henry Jenkins, viewed 25 April 2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

Filmgate Interactive 2014, The Skype Show or see you in August, Filmgate Interactive, viewed 25 April 2014, http://film-gate.org/event/the-skype-show-or-see-you-in-august/

 

Produsage and Skype

Produsage refers to content that is created by users within different online environments. As blogs are a space for users to create personal content, online gaming is reliant on its users to help create and revise existing content. Produsage plays a major role in relation to Skype as it is primarily driven by its users.

Although content on Skype does not work in the same way as Youtube or Facebook, it is however the communication through the use of the software that makes produsage so predominant in its ability to work as a business. The users create content through video calls, phone calls and text chat in private as this is the service Skype provides for its users. In return, however, the creators of this service are able improve the speed of connection, quality and the versatility of the software to make it as easily accessed as possible for its users. Bruns discusses this concept of constantly reviewing content as “rapidly evolving revisions of existing content, released for public view and further update immediately upon revision, (Bruns, 2007 p.3). This concept applies to Skype as it is constantly revised to fix faults within its software that is spotted by its users to create a better communication outlet.

Produsage is an important concept in the new age of the internet. It is no longer what information it can provide us, but what we can provide to expand and improve upon the technologies that are present.

 

References:

Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation, In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

Skype and its Users

Skype’s main audience is not limited to a certain age group but has one of the broadest audiences. It’s audience includes those who use it for personal uses as well as for business and education purposes. These purposes however have only been created through the information collected by Skype about its audience and how they use this software.

Through business, Skype is used for conference calls amongst different companies for meetings and other business activities. It also allows them to lower costs within communication. While in schools it used to connect classrooms with other classrooms as well as connect teachers with students through a cyber learning experience as well as being able to virtually take field trips anywhere in the world. The increase of technology within a classroom has also contributed to the rise of Skype for this purpose. 

Skype relies on its users to build the domain for it as it revolves around them. It’s greatest issues are privacy of its users but its audience keeps building as its focuses expands to different aspects of social and economic areas of the global society and allows them all to be interconnected. As a business Skype is driven by its users and it is up to Skype to shape it around its users to be able to cater for the needs of a constantly changing society.

 

https://education.skype.com/ accessed 4th April 2014

http://www.skype.com/en/business/ accessed 4th April 2014

 

Platforms and Permissions on Skype

Skype has created new platforms in order to expand its software capabilities as well as make worldwide communication more accessible. However, through this push for greater possibilities Skype has gained the personal information of its users of their usage of the software and it is a question of whether the privacy of their users is withheld.

The shift in digital economies opens up new possibilities for Skype. This allows Skype users to call and text through the software at cheaper prices. Jenkins (2004) believes that content on line will still be free but more will come at a cost. Skype, although is not selling content, is allowing its users to have the ability to communicate in the privacy of your own home through wireless internet connection as well as through phone services on the go. This broadens their digital economy by allowing Skype users creates new freedoms within the software and begins the commercialization of cyber technologies while still allowing users to use a parts of its technology for free.

How much of the information you share can be tracked by Skype? Is it helping communication worldwide become bigger and better or simply using this as an excuse to keep tabs on its users? Jenkins (2004) questions whether the media is too controlled and when looking into the permissions that Skype has over the information that its users share through the software it can be questioned if it is used for simply statistical reasons to improve the quality of it or if it is used for surveillance of its users. When installing the Skype application on a mobile device, you are giving Skype permission to take details such as location, SD card content and other personal information. The protection of personal information of Skype users was under dispute in regards to its Android app and whether its users were being spied on.

Skype’s open technology allows it to expand and grow and move up to different platforms. However its permissions within its own systems between the producers and the consumers can be seen as a controlled aspect of the technology.

 

References:

Jenkins, H, 2009, ‘The Cultural Logic of Convergence’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol 7, p. 33-43