Week 11 Readings

Part A:

I absolutely LOVED the article about class divisions between MySpace and Facebook users. As someone who has always been interested in class divisions in this country, I was very intrigued by her analysis of society’s social media usage. I saw , much of this happen, because my time at high school was from 2004-2008, meaning that I saw this war between the top dog social networks. I was actually not on either until 2008 (mostly because I rejected the “cool” aspect of joining just because everyone else was) and I went straight for Facebook. I saw these very clear lines of distinction between MS and FB, the hegemonic group and the alternative group. She hit the nail on the head, because that’s exactly what I saw happening- the cool kids were on FB and other sub groups were on MS. And the points that Danah Boyd brings up about the military are making me curious as well. The idea that the military banned MS to keep future soldiers from being dissuaded sounds pretty accurate. There was so much confusion for a long time about why we were over there and what we were doing, one of the best ways to stifle that sort of thing would be to shut up the soldiers who were putting out first hand knowledge. “Given the state of what I see in all sorts of neighborhoods, I’m amazed at how well teens are coping and I think that technology has a lot to do with that. Teens are using social network sites to build community and connect with their peers. They are creating publics for socialization. And through it, they are showcasing all of the good, bad, and ugly of today’s teen life. Much of it isn’t pretty, but it ain’t pretty offline either. Still, it makes my heart warm when I see something creative or engaged or reflective. There is good out there too.”  I felt that this quote describes very well how youth are using social media in a way that adults might not understand. I am criticized often about my social media usage by family members. Many make the comment that I post too much on facebook, that they don’t want to see all of the news stories about rape culture and gender parity. I use Facebook as a means of communicating with people in my community that have similar interests when it comes to feminism, but older family members don’t seem to understand why I am putting all of these negative things on their feeds instead of baby pictures and inspirational bible verses…. And Boyd’s follow up post several years after her first blog was interesting as well, however, I found myself to be more drawn to the comments section. Several people who had commented brought some really interesting ideas to the table about how racism and classism are innate leftovers of past tribal societies. It might not be grounded with any research but it is always neat to see how people explain behavioral attitudes. Manjoo wrote a few interesting things about the way African American’s use twitter as subgroups. I have not seen this firsthand so I will simply take his word for it, but I do feel that this is one specific grouping of people that use twitter and that social media use cannot be stereotyped based on race. And discussing the ways that Twitter can be used to reach a larger, younger audience for traditional news media is a constant discussion for many journalists. I believe most journalists see the writing on the wall and want to evolve before the news media are too outdated to matter. From some of the interviews that they conducted, it’s obvious that young people are not especially preoccupied with keeping up with news organizations on social media. But to be honest, I don’t know how they can get the younger segment to become interested. I follow the news organizations, but I’m interested already. So how do you make people interested? That’s a question for a very big room full of extremely intelligent people…. My article for uses and gratifications of social media is titled:

MySpace and Facebook: Identifying Dimensions of Uses and Gratifications for Friend Networking Sites

By Jennifer Bonds-Raacke & John Raacke The authors did a study on how people used social media, specifically friend networking sites, divided into three different categories of information, friendship, and connection. The categories were also examined by sex of the user, determining that men use social media more for dating purposes and women are more likely to keep their information private. It was also found that men had more friends on a constant basis than did women. People used social networks to gather and share information, for example to learn about events or share personal feelings about someone or something. The gratification of this category came from the fact that users had the ability to find out a large amount of information about their friends. Sites are also used in a friendship oriented behavior by getting in touch with old friends, keeping tabs on current friends, and connecting with new ones. This allows the user to get a a lot of gratification out of the social aspect and to maintain a large network. Lastly the authors found that sites were used to make connections with others that would have otherwise not been made. For example online dating sites that allow romantic connections that would probably not have happened otherwise. Part B: The amount of data out there about me honestly terrifies me, and most of it is due to Facebook. I have recently been dealing with the very serious issue of my identity having been stolen and someone named James Turner using my social security number to open up multiple credit cards- not good. I attribute this to me probably having been too lax with online shopping… maybe.

Part B:

Kirkpatrick’s article was not at all surprising, but definitely had a collection of strong statistics that make the reader stop and think b**** say whaaaat? The quote from Silent listener’s, “The amount and scope of personal information that Facebook users revealed privately to other connected profiles actually increased over time and because of that, so did disclosures to ‘silent listeners’ on the network: Facebook itself, third-party apps, and (indirectly) advertisers.” When you think you are protecting yourself you are actually not able to shield yourself from the information you spread by liking and sharing on Facebook.

The demographics that will find my blog interesting are pretty specific. A majority of my posts are about feminist topics and gender parity, as well as a few tidbits on Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and maybe some Jane Austen here and there. Because of this I will definitely need to focus on a female demographic, not entirely, but women are more likely to be interested in gender equality. I will also hopefully be able to draw some nerdtastic groups, a lot of nerd groups are interrelated and if you can get a few people interested in your blog, then they can spread the word to their friend groups who would also be interested. The best way to utilize the fandom nerds is to get into the forum discussions and link to your blog. Also, tweeting at some of the more popular podcasters and bloggers who write about nerdy topics will get some good attention as well. The best thing about feminists and fandoms is that they are usually spread out geographically and communicate using social media, making the sharing of your own blog relatively easy if you know the right people.

As it happens, a group of my friends and myself are starting our own Nerd News Network, N3 for short. We plan on creating a weekly video series that will be in Anchorman style comedy where each anchor will share information on their specific area of interest (mine obviously will be TV shows). In order to spread our channel, which will be both youtube and a private website, we are going to reach out on social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Reddit, and several other nerdom sites) to our individual networks for coverage. Once we can get a small following, we can begin to contact more popular nerds on social media in order to get some retweets and shares to the correct niches.

I spoke to several friends who are very big fans of Doctor Who and are also very into MineCraft and other games. They told me that social media was definitely going to be the best way to contact them because whenever they were going to any events they were usually posted on Facebook which made it possible to keep all the information organized. Two of them said that what they are missing in their nerd news needs right now is a collection of all nerdy goings on in one place. So we have decided to create a calendar of events that includes video game launches, cons, and TV premiers etc. When I discussed what we had planned, they were very excited about the possibilities of one centralized nerd news site. I think we will really be able to reach a large community when we can get our content together that we have been working on all semester.

 

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