Ya Know What I Meme?

http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/719433-reaction-faces

In honor of the stress-inducing process of registering for the next semester classes, I chose to share a meme representing my reaction when it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to register at 10pm. Naturally, I was locked out of the site for an hour with a feeling which could only be described as the RU Screw. I felt this meme was a good channel to convey something that only our community of peers at Rutgers would understand. Ilike this ability to relate to other people (and vice versa) because that is something that I try to project in my posts. 540089_461102120606163_1696632830_n I also just found this meme to just be funny every time the gif replayed to show the hilarious face over and over again. So with this idea of connection through memes that express s community culture, I think one of my favorite memes is the one of “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” This meme uses the image of the Dos Equis Beer spokes man known as “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” and satirically alters his famous line “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis.” Memes spread through Rutgers with memes like, “I don’t always study for orgo, but when I do,  it makes no difference.” These were some of my first introductions to memes and were always able to get a laugh out of me.  

Viva la Vida Buena

It’s been a while since I have posted something outside of my class assignments. But in this post I would like to share a realization I had over my spring break in Barcelona and Paris. 

Image

The Louvre in Paris, France

I’ve always dreamed of going to such amazing places, but battling depression for most of my life made that goal seemingly out of reach. But I did it! And I wouldn’t have asked for a better trip. It really made me realize how clouded my outlook on life was when I was depressed. I mean I saw traveling as something I would never be able to do because of my lack of interest (and emotional stability) to leave the country. Now, I see traveling as something that I want to do more of, which will work out for me since I will be studying abroad in Rome in May!

Image

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

There’s a whole world to see around us. You forget how big the world is and how different other places are until you actually go there. Overlooking the amazing views and witnessing the brilliant buildings that surrounded me I couldn’t help but think, “life is so beautiful.” Especially with a a new attitude on life, those moments were just magical. It made me think, “how could I have hated life so much when there is so much to see and so much to experience.” It feels good to rid myself of such negative energy.

Going to Europe was an unknowingly huge step forward for me. I was able to embrace the full experience with an opened mind and appreciate everything that I saw. As an art history enthusiast, it was everything I could have asked for for my first trip to Europe. (The slides in class do the art absolutely no justice!) This just goes to show, that nothing is impossible, and dreams can be realized with the right attitude and a positive outlook. If you set your mind and heart to something, eventually you will accomplish it. Something as simple as traveling made me realize that. 

So, go for a trip…anywhere. There’s adventure and beauty everywhere. Enjoy the ride.

Week 10 Discussion

Image1. According to the group of codes of ethics discussed by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, the tenet that “journalism should be honest, fair, and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information,” is upheld the most because it defines the objective of the field of journalism itself. This is exemplified in any traditional news source in which news is delivered in an objective and neutral manner.

On the other hand, the tenet that describes journalists should “make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent.” This is more difficult to uphold in professional journalism because as we see in today’s news reporting, headlines are relied on to capture attention and today this depends on ones the sometimes mislead or skew the context of a story in order to get people to read news.

As the reading suggests, professional neutrality is one of the six moral values that speak to the core professional value of journalism. However, this is violated by the growing trend of eye-catching headlines trying to battle other news sources for readers’ attention. This is especially prevalent on Internet sources, whose captions demand an easy click to suck readers into the content of their articles.

 

Image

2. The line between truth-bending narratives and responsibility to ethics is blurred because of sensationalism that comes with news these days. As Griner point out in his article, sports journalism is a specific field that is shaken by this approach to reporting that favors stories that sell rather than tell. Articles are produced with the intention to attract attention through narratives, which is bending the way we accept and understand information. As a result, people want to buy into narratives that spark interest “turning the fiction into a widely accepted reality.”

The impact of skewed stories can be illustrated in the realm of politics as well since the line between entertainment and news reporting is similarly being blurred. In the case of news entertainment, shows like Saturday Night Live frame stories with embedded comedy in order to attract the attention of viewers to their stories. For example, when Tina Fey portrayed Sarah Palin during a skit where she delivered the famous line, “I can see Russia from my house,” people genuinely believed that Palin had said this statement when in reality it was merely Fey’s representation of Palin.

This describes how sensationalizing stories can lead to repercussions on the masses that are exposed to such information. Moreover, with the fast-moving pace of the Internet and the potential for news to go viral, it is easy for truth bending narratives rather than factual information to makes its way to anyone on the World Wide Web. So, I believe that this kind of journalism is damaging to the reputation of journalism and defies the integrity of it, which is to deliver truthful and objective news to the public. 

Image

RELATED ARTICLE

https://flipboard.com/magazines/#weeks-highlights

The article I chose is titled, “Can Europe go its own way on data privacy?” This article is found on the Internet, but it is also an App, called FlipBoard on my phone that I use as a news source, and where I platform I used to access this article. I felt FlipBoard really embodied a combination of Google and Bing’s page rank in the sense that it combines both informative news that doesn’t mislead to unsatisfying information, but it also give you the option of choosing that news you want to read about. This is a very balanced and efficient way to deliver news in my opinion because it doesn’t give you a stagnant news article to stare at and decide to read or not, but it flips through articles in different categories that you choose to include in your Flipbook (like New, Entertainment, Sports, etc.).

t1larg.google.search1) I find my dominant method for retrieving information is a combination of many of the theorists in Chapter 3. Miller,Maslow and other theorists like them, who suggest information is based moreon a natural hunger for knowledge, which is closest to my dominant method for retrieving information. I say this because I have always been a curious person who wants to know about things. I think this is something innate that helps us understand the world around us and as is mentioned in the reading, which said […] the need for information could be interpreted as an inherent definition of life, or, more specifically, of being human.”

What I found even more interesting is that my method for retrieving is also on the opposite end of the spectrum of that I mentioned previously. I find information in entertainment, but not because the kind of information that informs me of anything that I need to know in life, but “a little bit of entertainment helps the information go down.” I found this to be an interesting point brought up in the reading because I completely agree that a little relief from hard news will help digest readers digest the content within the news articles.

Finally, the last point I would like to mention about my dominant method for retrieving information is one the coincides with Donald Case’s “lessons” of information as well as what I have already said about information. My favorite publications to read are celebrity magazines, which falls under “entertainment as information” in the reading. I feel that reading about gossip and celebrity lives is like understanding another world, their lifestyle – and as I said I believe having an inborn curiosity to understand our world (even if it is not ours) is something that we naturally wish to explore. So, in a way I see my interest entertainment magazines is a small part of why I enjoy them so much, and like Case said we may not always be seeking for important information because information is not always about making sense of things in “information may include every intrinsic and extrinsic impulse, impressions, opinions, wishes and dreams, activities, and so on.”

Image2) The “content farm” I chose to use was Bing.com, which is a search engine that immediately came to mind since it has been trying to compete with Google since Microsoft introduced it. In the spirit of the Winter Olympics I searched “Silje Norendal,” a Norwegian snowboarder I saw compete during the slope style event.

When I searched her name online to research her age and snowboarding background, the results were her satisfying since it presented her stats from the Winter Olympics, but the first actual link was titled, “The 20 Hottest Female Professional Snowboarders” (from complex.com) then her Wikipedia page. This information differs from that I saw on Wikipedia because it proved the point Miller made in his article that search engines edit their searches to coincide with not what is informative to the public, but what is popular.

If anything Wikipedia (which was once criticized for its unreliability as an information source) was ironically in this case the more consistent site that gave me exactly what I wanted to know. Moreover, Wikipedia has become a medium that seemingly sticks closer to the integrity of traditional print in the manner that it doesn’t embed keywords that brings you to more of its popular articles, but rather it provides links to information relevant to understand the content within the site.

I wanted to make one more comparison with Google since he article mentions that Google penalizes or blocks sites for black hat S.E.O., or sites that “[include] hidden text or loading up pages with irrelevant keywords.” I found that they were true to their word and the results for “Silje Nordendal” came up with her states in the Winter Olympics as it did in the Bing search. Wikipedia came up to be the 4th search result and after her search results of the Sochi games that she participated in, the results stated to parallel those of Bing and articles about her sex appeal as a woman snowboarder.

Speaking of traditional print, as Miller says in his article, this new style of obtaining readership has news outlets like these in a panic to compete as they and other news sources like “magazines, blogs and online-only news sites […] are making it more of a priority than ever and adopting new techniques, like trying to maximize pass-alongs on social networks.”

Content farms are using social media as a source in determining what is the bet information to include at the top of the their searches. As the article points out, “you’re finding that today’s audience is much more interested in the filter of their colleagues and friends who they trust than an algorithm produced by someone else.” So, as a way of surviving in an ocean of information based on what people want to know versus what they need to know, news outlets like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post are relying on their reputation and name to be passed along by their loyal readers on social networking sites.

Image

3) When it came to using Bing as a search engine, Google takes what want to search and assumes we know that we want to look up before we can even finish typing our search. Even so, a simple search like “Sijle Nordendal” doesn’t mean that the searcher is looking to see the other “20 Hottest Snowboarders” and Google doesn’t bring that up as the first link on their search page. As Gleick says, “[e]veryone knew was that the way to make money was to attract and retain users,” but Google doesn’t rely on the Page Rank that other search engines believes will give them an edge. Though Google bombards us with ads based on our search histories and frequent searches, their information is still relevant and more pertinent than many sites.their search results really resonated with theGleick reading. As I mentioned before, the Page Rank on Bing was easily based on “a probability distribution, and the calculation is recursive, each page’s rank depending on the ranks of pages that depend…and so on” necessarily based on relevant information with informative content.

Since searching Silje Norendal on Bing and clicking on the first link that it provided me with, the premium-sponsor for this Complex is their own company, Compex Media who aims to market to young males, which explains the content of their page. Their page has no advertisements, but instead their advertisements can be found in their magazines. This makes me question why a company like Microsoft’s Bing, would not follow the model of Page Rank that has made Google so successful.

In my opinion, I think that Bing is trying to go in a new direction and offer an alternative to strictly information – one that allows people to follow sites that appeal to specific interests since complex.com can be better be categorized as a blog. Since blogs are becoming such a popular source of “infotainment” users might see Complex and even Bing as a better-suited search engine for what some are looking for. Bing is trying to be personalized, while still trying to be credible to information seeking users, but when there is already a company dominating that idea (yes, Google) then you have to come up with something new, but I think the touch of personalization in its search results is far from having an edge over Google.

Consuming/Producing Information: Profiting from Social Media

Image

1. The relationship between willing participation and commercial exploitation as described in Andrejevic’s article is one that can be described as almost one in the same. First of all the article describes a new value placed on social networks as an important marketing tool. What is more is that those with a larger social network are now more desirable candidates to employers. As described in the article, “[…] the detail of employees’ social lives along with their observations and opinions they share with one another are treated as free resource.” This can definitely be viewed as commercial exploitation because employees are dipping in to the personal (online) lives of employees for recruiting, marketing, and sales. On the other hand, willing participation is voluntary and these employees choose to take action on marketing information that they found on social networking sites like Facebook. But as the saying goes, nothing is for free and many times the “willingness” put forth by employees to tap into this information is driven by an incentive from employers as demonstrated in the article. In this case, Appirio encouraged their employees to use their social networks as market research to inquire information to “contribute to their companies bottom line.” So, with this employees might feel as though their back is against the wall and feel inclined to exploit their friends online in order to be in the running for a potential bonus. So really how much of this is really willing participation? The relationship between the two concepts is separated by a very thin line as one can gather from the article since “an extended social network might come to function not just as a form of online social capital, but also online economic capital […].”

2. In Lanier’s article regarding “fixing the digital economy” the role of risk is apparent in the distribution and consumption of information. This risk stems from the rise of the Internet and the presence of technology overtaking people in the workplace, especially those jobs involving communication and expression since “information is now held to be free.” Although we are able to access information on the Internet or free, this information did not just appear out of thin air, but came from the minds of real people who expect to be compensated for contributing knowledge to be used by others. As Lanier puts it, “[t]he rise of inequality isn’t because of people not being needed, […] it’s because of an illusion that they aren’t even there.”

In Kendzior’s “internship” article the ones who are at risk are recent college graduates, those in pursuit of a job and ultimately, those outside of the upper class. This risk comes from the fact that companies set up internships in order for people to “gain skills” needed to be a valuable player in a company. However, these internships are unpaid and therefore only those of the upper class who can afford to work for free will be more willing to take on unpaid internships leaving the middle class without opportunity to build experience.

The relationship between digital economy, institutions and prestige reinforces class status because more opportunities at elite companies are available to the upper class. When it comes to a prestige economy, Kendzior explains that “success has nothing to do with employability [and] achievements are irrelevant in a system that rewards money over merit, brand over skills.”

Digital Information: Promises and Threats

Pavlik and McIntosh illustrate in their reading a number of consequences that come with the movement toward “convergence” and its factors that can impact both society and culture on different scales. To begin, technological convergence makes the activities that were once performed as separate tasks “now easier and folded into the media experience.” What once required us to take the time to execute tedious tasks is now available to us in one device. Of course, this comes with limitations, which Pavlik and McIntosh emphasize is the experience of such tasks such as purchasing, buying and reading a book on a Kindle versus a printed book. The experience attached to simple activities like flipping through the pages of a printed book is not the same as one when reading on a device.

This lends to another limitation, which Pavlik and McIntosh explains comes with economic convergence, which is better described as consolidation. When companies consolidate, a merge between Internet and telecommunications companies take place and in the process they continue to absorb other companies. The limitation is clearly in the fact that this eliminates competition and can lead to the formation of monopolies. Moreover, this can impact the way we understand and receive messages from the media if only large conglomerates were controlling the content.  Overall, convergence limits the way we understand information that we are presented with especially when mergers involve Internet and digital platforms where the realm of discussion is vast and endless.

Mass communication and interpersonal forms of communication has indeed blurred especially since the traditional ways of communicating are being challenged by new methods. When it comes to this blurred line that exists between the two terms, there is an emphasis on the idea that interpersonal communication usually occurs one-to-one and welcomes feedback from each party. When this concept gets carried over to a digital setting the line gets blurred into the idea of mass communication that refers to discourse between a large number of people. Pavlik and McIntosh use the example of a chat room to illustrate this line that is becoming increasingly indistinguishable since a chat room get involve thousands of participants.

In Jurgenson’s reading he makes interesting points that supports the idea that digital dualism is a fallacy. It can be clearly seen in our culture today that the digital and physical world are in a way meshing through the limitations presented in the Pavlik and McIntosh reading. The best example has to do with technological convergence mentioned above and the fact that we are able to communicate in various ways through one device. However, this device does not allow for face-to-face communication in the traditional sense, which relies on body language and social cues that can only be exchanged in a physical and traditional manner.

With this said, the relationship between a convergence culture and an augmented reality is the fact that people are starting to live in both in a way that their perception of actual reality becomes skewed. Since the Internet is like world of its own with it is easy to get lost in this augmented reality. With the online world being closely tied to the physical world since there is a heavy emphasis on communication that can expand throughout the world, it is easy to see where lines start to cross between augmented reality and convergence culture. However, I find it hard to believe that we will live in a world that will be completely dominated by the digital media.