Paris, but not Beirut. Brussels, but not Ankara

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Tragic events occurred yesterday and almost instantly the world took there grieve to Twitter & Co. While masses mourned and sent their thoughts & prayers, others expressed their anger over the lack of social media activity and condolences for Ankara and Beirut and many more.

It is a very recent phenomenon which is widely discussed in the media and deserves a debate on ‘why do the majority seem to engage more with terrorist attacks in the Western world but not with other attacks’? But before I go into some critical thoughts; what really matters is that every death is tragic and all the pain caused to the victim’s families expresses how we are all human but humanity seems to lack in those who caused these huge tragedies of the 21st century.

It is without doubt that we should all be mourning and stand together for any attack on our freedom and it does not matter if it is Brussels or Beirut. It is also without doubt that those who take their grieve to social media for Brussels are not in denial about the occurrences in Ankara. If someone cares about human loss in Belgium, they would also care about deaths somewhere else, even though they might have not gave them the same online attention. I therefore do not believe anyone should attack people for sending their condolences. I however do believe that it is unfair in a way and of course it would be beautiful if we could all equally stand together for any terrorist attack.

To think of reasons why it is happening, appears to be difficult. Is it the media’s ‘fault’ and failed to cover all locations evenly; is it the government’s fault for expressing their grieve nationwide by lighting up the Eiffel Tower & co. and therefore send the message to their nation’s citizens that one event matters more than the other or is it simply just a coincidence that one hashtag trended more than the other?

There is many question but not many answers, therefore I would like to invite you to share your thoughts …

 

 

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Itunes – Free Kesha?

Music amongst my peers has always been a hot topic, everyone does compile their own collection and build it over the years. However, a lot do it differently than others do. As for my part, I have always been an advocate for paying for my music. I believe – as a creative artist myself – that if you choose to create content in order to make a living, it should be protected and therefore be paid for if you choose to make this your full-time job.

My go-to platform to download my songs is iTunes, as it is easily accessible and has a huge, diverse portfolio. As purchases for physical copies declined, iTunes stepped in an transformed the market – also might have accelerated the decline of physical copies. However, it has done a good deal at protecting the copyright for artists and pay them their fair share.

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If iTunes would significantly loosen the copyright licenses, it would probably initiate the decline of content being produced. In order to produce content and to afford even just the most simple needs, some sort of compensation is crucial. As sad as it is sometimes, no money, no motivation in proceeding to produce content. Despite these limitations, stripping the money factor away from the music industry could also have it’s advantages. We probably all have heard about Kesha’s lawsuit against Dr. Luke and Sony. A lot of money is involved and where money plays a major role, it’s best friend ‘greed’ is just around the corner. Under a Creative Commons licence the music industry would most likely be a friendlier place, giving artists more creative room to express their artistry. The amount of content would, as a result, decline as artist would make their creative job a hobby on the side.

What do you think would be the consequences?

 

A Flashback

Growing up whilst social networks started to emerge and increasingly gained popularity, I personally never thought about consequences based on what I reveal until very late.

It all started off with a passion I developed for photography at the age of 14 and started individual blogs together with my best friend. We would regularly meet up to take pictures of each other, edit them so we could share it with everyone online. Later on, we launched  YouTube Channels, Tumblrs and Instagrams which were all linked together and promoted our blogs at the same time. Our following started to increase which of course was extremely exciting for us, on the other hand however some of our followers took it to the extreme. Fake profiles and fan pages started to emerge which we did not particularly appreciated and at such a young age, also felt quite intruding. Up to the present day all of our content is still available online, even though we stopped blogging and closed down various sites.

Of course the photography we shared online was an amazing way to express ourselves and our art. The images are also not explicit in any way, however growing up, we do wish we had more control of what is still out there. You do feel very powerless and the control over our work has been taken out of our hands. Therefore, I do believe educating younger generations to think twice before what they are going to post online is crucial.

Nevertheless, enjoy some pictures of my past and passion:

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Ready, Set, Go!

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With the Nike+ Fuelband, the sports manufacturer giant made a step into the world of the so called health apps.

The Fuelband is a wearable gadget – bracelet – which connects to your smartphone and keeps track of your fitness achievements, including step counts, your running routes and much more. The app as well as the desktop version will give you an insight on your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly achievements, in order to see where you can improve and how to enhance your fitness routines.

Your efforts will be converted in a by Nike designed digital currency – Nike Fuel, which will motivate you to achieve your daily goals. All your achievements can be shared with the online community or on social media, which will give you the extra bit of motivation you need!

Limitations include the obligation to purchase the bracelet as well as owning either an Android or iOS phone. The Fuelband – besides being a motivational tool – can additionally be described as a marketing tool, which encourages you to purchase further Nike products.

Find out more insights on the Nike+ Fuelband and community in this video and let me know what you think of this gadget.

It indeed gets better

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Given the participatory culture of social media the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, which is majorly driven by its video material on youtube, has been significantly shaped by its participants. The pro LGBTQ+ campaign invites individuals to feature and share their personal stories concerning their own coming out history, spreading hope and change for those who struggle with their sexual identity and orientation.

With each new individual story the online movement generates more viewers based on the ‘shared media’ model and encourages
others to participate through the empowering message. 
Additionally, the concept of sharing various and diverse personal stories have a significant effect on those the campaign seeks to help, as it showcases that indeed , “you are not alone and it gets better” , based on real stories from real people.

As the organisation behind ‘It Gets Better’ merely outlined the idea and concept behind the campaign, it is the audience who gave the campaign the character and power it has achieved through the increasing number of videos. The narrative which has evolved through the campaign has an open end and encourages the audience to create their very own ending. The only real ‘end’ of the campaign would mean the achievement of complete equality in society.

Let me know if any of you have participated in this campaign …

Smart TV – not so smart?

Your latest Netflix addiction, your favourite YouTuber or a quick Google Search; a compilation of functions you would expect to be doing on your computer.

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Taking the relatively ‘old’ technology format of a TV and combining it with the ‘new’ Internet, results in not only a technological- but also in a media convergence. Broadcast media in the shadow of the new media; live TV meets on-demand options, an innovation that may not hold exclusively positive implications.

This is outlined in Ofcom’s – the independent communications UK regulator – Annual Public Service Broadcasting report 2015. Ofcom (2015) notes that on-demand competitors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are linked to a decrease in Live TV viewership amongst the younger generation. Conclusively, this has a financial impact on the broadcaster and the production sector respectively. A decrease in Live TV which goes hand in hand with a profit increase for tech giants as well as emerging online services. Additionally, an enhanced consumer experience is being created but at the risk of excluding older generations based on technological innovations occurring at high pace.

Convergence is certainly a debate which will increasingly attract more attention. As it holds positive as well as negative implications, a balance must – theoretically – be found to outweigh negative extremes and therefore business models have to adopt.

Check out this The Guardian article in which the CEO of a media company talks about opportunities of media convergence.

International Journal of Communication – ‘Black Lives Matter’

The Journal I would like to share with you is titled ‘International Journal of Communication’ published by the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, a peer-reviewed collection of articles covering themes that align with the module’s topic digital media in the context of the Network Society.

One article in particular drew my attention as it involves several topics which are to be presented in the coming lectures. Which are as followed: ‘The Networked Self and Ideas of Community (Week 5) ; ‘Regulation and Social Media’ (Week 8) ; ‘Internet Memes and Remix Cultures’ and ‘Campaigning, Social Movements and Activism’ (Week 10) respectively.

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The article follows the incidents of the movement ‘Black Lives Matter’, focussing on a case study of 22 teenagers as to their participation and political engagement online on Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter as well as their active decision making on the streets in the context as to how social movements develop. 

Astonishing – a collective translating their digital participation into physical impact, feeling empowered and politically engaged. A movement which unfolded at such high pace due to the ever faster technological innovation, leaving the individual and one’s voice reinforced – a true Network Society. It is arguably a convergence of digital movement and actual movement, do you agree?