I think that it is interesting now to look back through the lecture topics and see how they all fit together. Online communities are a key factor of the network society whereby people can come together and be a part of the public sphere. This links to campaigning, social movements and activism as audiences and the public are empowered to make a difference. This helps with democracy, especially as sites such as  and  exist where audiences can actively participate in their society. Similarly, social media and particularly more pubic sites such as Twitter help audiences to communicate their opinions – however there are debates about regulation of social media and what constitutes as free speech. In the same way, there are debates about censorship and surveillance. It is suggested that we live in a surveillance society where we are constantly being tracked. However, I also think that we waver our right to privacy by uploading excessive amounts of content online.

What I found the most interesting and have for a long time is the fact that, with social media, although there are many bits (some mentioned above), there is the idea that it makes us less social as we substitute real life conversations for virtual ones. I feel as though social media and mobiles are often used as an excuse not to have a conversation with someone instead of putting the effort in to interact. An article by the Wall Street Journal suggests that we check our phones due to anxiety – perhaps linked to the fear of missing out (or FOMO).  All of these these issues affect our everyday lives, however I do not think that we critically think about them enough.


Strict copyright vs Creative Commons Licenses

For this blog post, I thought it would be interesting to compare content which is restricted by strict copyright laws and that which is more freely available to share and edit through a creative commons license.

Music is under strict copyright laws.

Tidal is an American music subscription service on which the content is under strict copyright and cannot be accessed (i.e. streamed) without purchasing a subscription. On the service, artists upload content which is specifically for the service and therefore it is illegal to have access to the content without a subscription service. The purpose of this is to ensure that artists are paid fairly and fully for their intellectual property. This differs from a streaming service like Spotify, which allows audiences to stream content without a subscription (although they do have to listen to adverts between songs). Comparably, iTunes is a site where audiences must purchase music to listen to it. It is illegal, therefore, to download music which artists are selling if you have not paid for it, from example downloading illegally online. However, SoundCloud is a music service whereby audiences can upload content as well as download and share content legally. This has benefits for content creators who want to share their material and appeal to new audiences, as well as audiences who get to listen to music that they enjoy for free. If this were under the same copyright laws as the previous services, all users of the site would lose out.

Other content is available under Creative Commons Licenses.

Wikimedia Commons (the multimedia repository of Wikipedia) allows its users to upload and edit content on its pages. All content is available under a Creative Commons License meaning audiences can contribute to and develop ideas – the main advantage of the license. Compared to copyrighted books, audiences are unable to contribute to ideas in the same way (unless they properly reference) as this could be seen as plagiarism. Perhaps is copyright laws on books were less strict then academic research and theories could be better explored and advanced.

Do you agree with the use of copyright in these cases?

There are just some things that no one should ever have to see …

I thought I had nothing to hide – until I found a tonne of embarrassing photos of me on Facebook from 5 years ago… then I seriously considered how private I am online and what are the impacts from the ‘digital age’ on online privacy and society.

Before engaging with this topic in depth for my presentation, I thought my online presence was quite minimal and that I was quite private online. All my settings were set to private – I thought. However, looking closer, I realised that my Facebook profile was actually public and I had people ‘following’ me without me realising. So what I was openly choosing to share with family and friends, I was also sharing with strangers, which could be dangerous if the information that I make available gets into the wrong hands.

It has been suggested that we are in fact living in the ‘post-privacy era‘ in which we sacrifice so much information about ourselves that no one seems to understand the concept of privacy. Or is it that we are willing to waver that right? For some reason, with advances in social media such as Snapchat, we actually want the whole world to know what we are doing all of the time. This has social consequences – especially for teenagers – as, if you weren’t tagged in the photo, you weren’t there, even as far as ‘if you aren’t online, you don’t exist’. There are worrying statistics suggesting that’20 and 80 per cent of adolescents report feeling lonely often’ (The Independent), and from personal experience I think that, although we are more connected than ever, we are isolating ourselves more than ever. And sharing everything that we do online often appears only to be to show off to other people, which then has more negative consequences.

“People present an idealised version of themselves online and we expect to have social lives like those portrayed in the media” (Sam Challis, an information manager at the mental health charity Mind- The Guardian)

So, although we make think that the information that we are sharing online is harmless, it is important that we consider both our safety and the wider affect that this could be having. If the aforementioned negative affects continue into the future, the problem may only worsen. If you would like to read more about this, see the links below.

online community: mumsnet


Mumsnet is an online community for parents. It is a place where parents can come together to get advice and support about the bringing up of their children, including areas such as education, life and style, food and work. There is also a ‘bloggers network‘ page with a blog of the day and features page. Members of this community can post their own blogs and comment on others. This may help them to express their own feelings and also help others who may be experiencing similar issues. The community also creates campaigns such as the ‘Campaign for better Miscarriage Care‘ where members can have their say and get involved with issues they are passionate about. Feeling part of a community, especially for new or stay-at-home mothers, may help them feel as though they are not alone.

Some, often mainly men, are opposed to the site, feeling as though it is discriminative against men. However, as the site is for women, and therefore is more specialised, this may ensure women feel more comfortable to express their worries and feel more united. Other challenges faced may be making women feel worried if they aren’t experiencing certain things that other women on the site seem to be, however, the site does attempt to cater for all mums and give them peace of mind.

Audience Participation: charity campaign

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 19.25.48.pngIn the new digital age, user generated content and audience participation is becoming increasingly popular as audiences have the platforms to do this. On example of this is the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. The campaign encouraged audiences to share their stories through the campaign website, allowing those affected by the disease to write, upload videos or photos to share their experiences and to support each other through difficult times. The simplest way audiences can participate is by sharing links to the site on social media, meaning the campaign reaches a broad demographic.

The campaign’s main focus was encouraging people to take action. The creators encourages audience to raise awareness by informing people about the actions that they have taken by documenting the event through pictures and videos on the website. There is also the ‘Global Community’ section on the website which shows audiences the scope of the campaign, encouraging them to join in too. User participation is extremely significant for this campaign as it is all about people and working together and supporting each other. Personal stories are a good way to create an emotional connection to an audience, which is important in a campaign about such a cause.  It gives the campaign a human element that connects women all over the world. It also reinforces and reminds people hat cancer is real and is happening now to millions of people, making the need to donate and act more immediate. By participating, audiences will also feel as though they have played their part in the campaign and may encourages other to do so too.

This article talks more about the psychological affects that pariticpating in an advert can have on its audience: 

Is the internet saving or destroying TV?

It’s extremely difficult to find anyone of this generation who is not a Netflix enthusiast; however I am not one. As a TV student, the thought of television moving online with no schedules, no weekly episodes and a new way of promoting and distributing content scares me because the future is unclear. The television industry is undergoing huge changes which raises many debates, for instance; will the license fee survive? Pre university, I loved sitting down in front of the TV (every night) after waiting for a programme all week. However, now being at university and not even having the luxury of a TV meant an end to this. Luckily for me, despite my pessimistic outlook, online television and on-demand services are constantly improving. It is possible to watch a programme on BBC Iplayer an hour after it was broadcast, something no one could have anticipated just 10 years ago. Channel Four’s on-demand service (All 4) contains hours and hours worth of programmes from their archives meaning there is always something to watch. I do have to admit, though, that I have watched Making a Murderer, although I am not even sure whose Netflix account information I was using at the time.

I am slowly coming round to the idea of online streaming as I can see the benefits. Audiences can choose what to watch when, including binge watching. Sharing content by word of mouth or social media leads to a buzz around certain programmes (i.e. Making a Murderer/ House of Cards) meaning audiences can feel involved in something and content providers do not have to spend much money on traditional forms of advertising. I found a video which discusses this in detail and raises some interesting debates. It also relates to the Sound, Story, Text and Image module: 

What do you think about the blog post title? Do you think the convergence between TV and the Internet will continue and how could it develop?

The Network Society Blog

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The network society encompasses so many different aspects of modern day life. I thought it would be interesting to try and find an online resource that represents this vast concept, giving us a very broad insight into how our lives now revolve around technology. The Network Society Blog was a site set up by the company Ericsson who deal with software and infrastructure services and conduct research about the network society. Their website comprises of many different and interesting sections including the ‘Innovation’ page and ‘Network Society‘ page which can provide you with information about what the concept of the ‘network society’ is.

The blog itself covers everything from the affects of the network society on people, the economy and the environment. I found many interesting blog posts about apps, smart phones, virtual shopping, data sharing, sustainability and self driving cars. The blog looks at both the positive and negative impacts of the network society using examples from around the world, meaning we as an audience are provided with a full understanding. I thought this post was particularly interesting as it is so relatable for our generation:

The ideas and examples discussed in these blog posts could be starting points for the weekly presentations or blog posts.