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

 

 

 

 

 

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8 ways Buzzfeed has shaped our audience

 

  1. Well it has been described as the most influential news organisation in America.
  2. The internet is powerful medium and in some ways Buzzfeed demonstrates an understanding of this medium than any ever.
  3. .The use of random numbers, creating a new way to present content which can be relatable to all e.g. ’48 Things That Mildly Thrill Everyone Who Works in an Office.
  4. Whilst some question their journalistic style, some say it has just been recreated but just targeting a younger demographic.
  5. Not many publications can say that their articles have been viewed more than 14 million times.
  6. It has been reported that Buzzfeed’s demographic is evenly split in terms of gender with 51% male and 49% female. An estimated 23 percent range between the ages 18-24; 28.7 percent are between 25 and 32.
  7. They have successfully devised a system where they can advertise their material to other publications as well as promoting their own brand.
  8. You can easily identify a Buzzfeed headline when you see one, some of them are not the most informative. However the majority of consumers today don’t pay attention to words and paragraphs but engage with creative titles and images.
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The Beauty Crush

Samantha Maria aka The Beauty Crush is a very well known YouTuber/Blogger.

While Sammi was studying Fashion Styling at Southampton Solent University, she created her YouTube channel along side it.

The Beauty Crush is now one of the biggest YouTubers of our time. Her make up and styling videos rapidly started gathering millions of views and soon got to where she is today.

Nowadays she is very interactive with her fans and likes to get their opinions on what videos they would like to see. She does this by interacting with them on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, which keeps her audiences interacted and engaged. As well as having her vlogging channel she also has created a blog where she is able to go into more depth about her experiences.

Recently, she created a Twitter poll asking her followers what make up tutorial they would next like to she in her video.

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As soon as the results were in, later that night she uploaded the desired make up tutorial.

Most of the videos she uploads onto her YouTube channel are inspired by what her followers want to see, making The Beauty Crush very in-touch and connected with her audience. As well as creating make up tutorials, The Beauty Crush also does Q&A videos and monthly ‘lookbooks’.

 

Audience participation? To be honest what can’t we involve ourselves in? There are so many sites that allow the growth of an audience such as Wikipedia, Facebook, dating websites and even sound cloud. However I want to discuss about the obvious YouTube site. Now I’m not going to start off by giving you a description of YouTube because I know most of you are well aware of its contents. However did you know that the average time an individual spends on watching YouTube videos on their mobile phones is 40 minutes.
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videos most commonly watched on YouTube consist of vlogs and tips, these are very  popular as it allows a build up of relationship  between the bloggers and their audience. through blogs, you-tubers are able to interact and with the viewers by asking questions and introducing stuff like giveaways whereby the you-tubers organizing competition where viewers get the chance to win prizes.

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our generation has become so involved with videos to get by. Most vloggers talk about their current life problems which also relate to similar problems viewers encounter in day to day life. Such vlogs includes things about sexuality and coming out while others are tips on makeup, fashion or even silly stuff like what drinks are better! i think its fair to say that YouTube is a great example of audience participation.
 

 

Wikipedia – a truly free encyclopedia?

The most infamous famous product of audience participation online is inarguably Wikipedia. We’ve all heard of it, we’ve all used it to look random things up, we’ve all been told off using it for academic purposes. Obviously this is because the freedom of anyone being able to edit articles, which many resort to in their free time out of boredom or other motives, makes information unreliable and compromises facts and narratives.

Nevertheless, many people have the Wikipedia app on their smartphone to look up trivia, or even gain a quick chronological overview of sociopolitical events. With physical encyclopedias having become nearly extinct to our generation, the organisation has achieved primacy in its cause. The diversity of articles is immense – there are more than five million english entries alone, and 291 different language editions of the site, which most certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the open contribution.

However, as of recent, editor Jimmy Wales has decided to steer away from quantity to ensure quality. Setting stricter guidelines which make it harder for people who are not yet recognised members of the community to make edits and protecting certain articles (such as the one about elephants) from non-official members entirely, might reduce the numbers of mishaps and pranks on the site. Yet making the community smaller and tighter will inevitably scare off new potential contributors, which the organisation will ultimately rely on in the future as information is stacking up every day.

Probably the most ironic thing about this decision, though, is the fact that this shrinking group of people being able to alter information which the general public takes at face value also enables them to twist and bend reality in favour of their agendas, in this case likely political or corporate after all. The democratic aspect, reflecting a true diverse society, is now bound to fade away. What do you think and prefer? Compromised information in the name of quality, or what might be a slightly chaotic yet steady growth of resources?mywikipedia.png

Wikipedia that!

 

 

Reading the other posts on this blog I’m slightly confused why nobody in our group has used Wikipedia as their example, the articles are written by people for people. Because of this level of audience participation since its launch in 2001,  Wikipedia isn’t seen as a credible source of information despite the fact that there are moderators on the site to ensure there are no falsehoods or misinformation.

The main selling point behind Wikipedia is that it has comprehensive articles (over five million) on topics ranging from literature to politics, art to neuroscience, there is literally something for everybody.

Due to the success and stature of the site, it has been a target for ‘vandalism’. That is the term used to describe content in an article which is not true, advertising, spam, obscene or crude humour. However due to the large amount of activity on the site vandalism is usually taken care of in minutes

As of 2016, there are 291 language editions of Wikipedia meaning it’s open to people all over the world. The English version of Wikipedia receives 58% of Wikipedia’s overall traffic with the Japanese, Russian, German and Spanish versions being the most popular foreign language editions.

Citizen witnessing.

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Citizen witnessing/participation – During the London riots of 2011 Twitter provided a means of communication between the public and journalists, providing real time reports from the scene. More importantly Twitter enabled other users to provide constant feedback to trouble hotspots or where was next. In my opinion this links to Habermas’s theory of the public sphere, quite a lot.

The collaboration between journalists and members of the public, helped refine the coverage and pin point where trouble was brewing so a reporter could be first on the scene and tell the story from the beginning. However at times information could be fraught, due to some news being reliable and some unchecked, which was a means for spreading panic. Along with the public helping journalists uncover a story, social media was also used by thugs participating in the rioting/looting as to wear to meet or target next. When participating in such a fast moving story, journalists have to be extremely careful in what information is worth pursuing and what is false. Gaz Corefield – journalism student, “speed accuracy and collation from the ground, sifting between rumours and facts. Debunking false rumours, where we felt confident to do so”. This blog claimed huge hits and became a very trustworthy source of information, during an event that was so prone to rumour.

Another way in which the public actively engaged in this matter was through live blog streaming, this was used in particular by The Guardian, which gave a different edge to reporting. Obviously journalists can’t be everywhere and now being an online nation, this offered the chance for the public to post videos, still photos and even add to the blog themselves.