End Note

One of the most interesting bits that I found while writing these blogs was researching the variety of online communities on the web. They are a place where people from all over the world can connect and engage in discussions with people from all across the world.

The online community that I focused on was SoundCloud, but I found reading other posts about different online communities interesting, too, because it seems there’s not a subject that’s not covered by one of these online forums.

A lot of the other subjects that was covered in Network Society and Media were engaging, as well, because all of them are still relevant in our lives today. We covered useful online resources that would help us with our essay, we discussed media that uses audience participation and considered the safety of our online-selves through the visibility of our social networks.

Sometimes a lot of what we have covered has shown the negative side of social media, or sometimes even it’s users. However, I have learned that Media in a modern day society is important for networking, connecting and accessing information, and that is probably the most important thing I learned during the last 8 weeks of Network Society and Media.


Look at Me! Online Visibilty

Having various social media accounts can be beneficial for networking with people and exposing our content to the world, especially on Facebook or LinkedIn. But how much exposure in the online world is a good thing?

I rarely use the two main social media sites- Facebook and Twitter- but when I do I know that the content I share can only be seen by the people I want to see it. I used to post on them all the time, but even when I was 13 I knew that the only people who could see my posts were the people I wanted to see them.


Most of the time, though, I will use Tumblr or SnapChat to communicate with people and share things online. I would say I felt more comfortable posting on either of these more than Facebook or Twitter because the privacy settings are a lot more comprehensive.

SnapChat is a good place to post pictures and videos because only the people you’re friends with can view them and only for a limited amount of time: your SnapChat story will only last 24 hours. Furthermore, the app lists the people who have viewed your pictures and screen shotted your pictures so you know exactly who is viewing your content. Like all other social media accounts, users can block and report people on who they feel uncomfortable sharing things with.

Social media can be a good thing. It can be great exposition for people’s content that they want the world- or just their friends and family- to see. But, I think, users should be more aware of their privacy settings because it would lead to a safer, more enjoyable experience while using social media sites.


SoundCloud is an online community that gives users a platform to share audio. It was created by two men in Stockholm who were frustrated that there was no place for them to share their audio files with each other.

SoundCloud allows users to share their audio with users with similar interests by tagging their content with key words. Then, users can listen to and comment on it, which allows the user to engage with other people while getting ideas on what’s good and what to improve on with their content. Furthermore, SoundCloud gives users better exposition by allowing them to share it on other social media sites, like Facebook.

Another positive aspect is that, as well as being able to tag key words so that other users can find your content more easily, users are also able to create groups focused on certain subjects or genres of music and gathering content together. This would create a space for people with similar interests to discuss the audio and get opinions of other like-minded people.

Obviously, like every online community, there are going to be users that enjoy being rude and posting negative comments for the sake of it. But, SoundCloud have made it easy to block and report users like that, so it’s not much of a problem. Overall, this online community is a brilliant platform for users to discover new audio and post your own that can be exposed to millions of users worldwide.


The First Email Ever Sent!

Although you probably think of  emails as being a thoroughly modern way of communicating with each other, the first ever email was sent 45 years ago in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. This is what I find most interesting with the history of the internet, because I always see the email as an invention of the 21st Century or the late 1990s.

So for the first email to have been sent almost thirty years prior to this is quite shocking. When asked what was the first email sent, Ray Tomlinson said he doesn’t remember because he thought it was that insignificant. He thinks it was something like “QWERTYUIOP”. But no one asked him to invent email – it was something that Ray Tomlinson was working on as a side project by himself.

Obviously, the emailing system that we all know today is far more advanced than what was in the 1970s. But what Ray Tomlinson invented when he was meant to be working on something else, helped changed the way we communicated with people forever.

With millions of emails being sent every day, it’s easy to take this method of communication for granted-like text messages and phone calls- but to be invented in the early 1970s when similar technology was invented is quite extraordinary.


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Every once in a while the internet becomes fascinated by the latest craze, and in the summer of 2014, it all became about pouring ice cold water over your head in aid of raising money for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The reason behind pouring ice cold water over your head was because it is said the sensation is similar to the feeling you get when you have the disease.

It became an internet meme- everyone from a drunken Chris Pratt to Kermit the Frog and everyone on your Facebook timeline took part. It became an internet meme because everyone could get involved and they could get all of their friends involved, too.

The question of whether the pouring of water over your head was more useful than actually donating to the charity is debatable. But it raised awareness of the disease and for those few short months in 2014, everyone was getting involved, which is what the inventors of the ice bucket challenge intended.

Although the ice bucket challenge was triggered by a serious subject, it was a fun activity that captured the imagination of the whole internet. It was the ultimate way of raising awareness through audience participation, and managed to raise money for the charity. If another serious disease could come up with a similar way of raising awareness, it’s obvious that the internet would lap it up in a similar way.

Even Kermit the Frog got involved in the Ice Bucket Challenge






Cultural Convergence

Although the merging of technologies is what most people think of when they think of ‘convergence’, cultural convergence is also an important part of everyday life.

Cultural Convergence is the merging of cultures- e.g. ideas, habits, skills, media, food, drink- in the same place, leading to the acceptance and appreciation of one culture by another. This has led to there usually being more than one culture in any country in the world.

This change has come about by globalisation and the advancement of technology, because it has made it possible for audiences on either side of the world to be closer than ever. Now, media made in Japan or India can be accessed easily by people in the USA and vice versa.

Hollywood blockbusters, like films from the Marvel franchise, now have massive fan bases in the Philippines, Japan and South Africa because of Cultural convergence. In China, the highest grossing film of 2015 was American. Conversely, audiences in America can now enjoy Bollywood films or music from Artists in Korea because Cultural convergence has helped both cultures discover each other and appreciate them.

The one problem with the merging of cultures is the risk of cultural appropriation. This is when a culture adopts part of another in an offensive way.  A recent example of this was Beyonce dressing  in Indian-inspired clothing in Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend music video.

However, there are more plus sides to cultural convergence than negatives. It has enabled us to enjoy films, music, media from across the world and access ideas that have advanced technology and science.

If you would like to read more on Cultural Convergence, this article in the Globalist gives some good examples of what it is about.

Media Convergence

For the past few weeks, we have been hearing about media convergence in our lectures. They were the subject of the lecture in the second week, there were presentations about them in this week’s seminar, and next week we all have to find examples of them for that week’s blog.

This week, I had to do a presentation on media convergence, and if I’m being honest, I did not really understand what it meant by economical and technological convergence in the media. Cultural convergence was easier to understand, but only after I researched it extensively and found images and essays about it online as examples.

Therefore, for this week’s blog on finding a useful online resource, I decided to find an article on technological and economical convergence. I read through it and I find it very useful- and I think other people who cannot quite get their heads around what it means by these terms will, as well.

It is made by a Canadian website, and therefore uses Canadian examples, but I still think it applies to UK audiences.

I hope you find this helpful when trying to find Examples of Convergences for next week blog.