Reading Convergence Culture I couldn’t help wondering exactly what creators want from their fans of their products…I thought one of the goals of any creator is to produce materials that are thought-provoking. I also thought these products were supposed to create some form of fan creativity. I feel that fans for the most part understand their place and the limitation of their roles. Hence I find it quite confusing that creators are threatened by the fans who indirectly keep them in their industry. Or am I missing something? While a few fans may over step their boundaries as noted with Dino Ignacio’s depiction of Bert interaction with Osama Bin Laden, one cannot help but applaud what Heather was able to achieve through the power of technology (online community) and the spirit of a true fan.
The research proposal Level Up”” affirms how technology is becoming the fourth “R” in education. Technology can no longer been ignored or perceived as a social tool. Policy makers need to be brought to the digital media realm. I can see the use of establishing online community where students can meet both socially and for educational purpose…Knowing that there are other students who share same aspirations/goals. Or as referenced in class, students who struggle in traditional setting having a forum that can serve as a support system. I thought the Idaho pilot will be truly complete if the technology (community) is included.
This week’s reading was quite interesting because it addresses our society from the media perspective; this text details what’s happening in every realm of our society- it is a reflection of our society from the new media perspective. Jenkins used case studies to illustrate the struggles of today…There is a need to give voice to the powerless, yes it is the right thing to do, yet it is offensive to hear the powerless use the voice. Heather epitomizes what we aspire to be, to be engaged, creative, and be a leader. These are qualities that one acquires as a participant. Convergence culture captures the conflicts between corporate media and grassroots. It captures how participants are no more passive, but active. The lines are increasingly blurred and this can be attributed to collective intelligence, media and participatory culture. In the text, Jenkins uses the case of star war fans creating stories and sharing with other fans to illustrate the power of convergence culture. I am particularly encouraged by Heather’s story, a home schooled teenager who found pleasure in reading and writing. She shared her passion with her peers and in so doing embrace the constructivism theory. The participatory culture in this discourse speaks to what every educator wants from their students in the classroom, learners learn best from their own experiences. It encourages creativity and promotes learning collaboration as demonstrated by Heather and her writers.
The reading this week affirms the position that academia is not so static after all. My first experience as an undergraduate in college was filled with ancient scholars and philosophers, my thought at the time was that to be a scholar you have to be well versed in the works of Galileo, Copernicus, William Blake, Shakespeare, Newton, Socrates and the likes. I was fed with historical facts form ancient Greece and Rome periods. As student at the time I thought that African theories or scholarly writings were not embraced because it was not dated or ancient. This week’s reading challenges the academic status quo, academia is evolving and as long as there are inventors, there would always be ideas and concepts to study. The cyberculture study challenges the norms; it is not static, it is not old and it’s forever evolving (at least for now). Yes, we can reference the history of cyberculture to the 1940’s but it does not follow the trajectory of say Math or English discipline. The average Internet user is a social user, most academicians are not comfortable using the Internet and are embarrassed to acknowledge that they surf the Internet for academic source. The study of cyberculture is new and it has truly challenge me as a scholar; I’m forced to appreciate academics from a totally new perspective. I enjoyed reading David silver’s “Where is Internet Studies?” interestingly, I still don’t know where Internet studies is because it changes so quickly, but one can affirm that there are scholars, students and scholarly journals some of the criteria that make a study a discipline.
I found this week’s reading intriguing…cyborg, automata, technology, biology, nature, screen, body, spectator, user, culture, and virtual, all of these concepts and more. It was truly a revelation; my thought was how do we address all of these in one breath. well, we did and it all made sense after all. The power and the limitation of the machine and it users or spectators, the idea that becoming a cyborg (no gender distinction) would create a perfect world is interesting. It didn’t take me long to discover that there is no set way to define cyberculture because the compound word itself cyber + culture is always evolving. The idea that the color of the cursor matters, the power of visual representation… Feminist’s point of view on cyberculture? There is no one perspective. The reading and the class discussion was very enriching. I feel very informed and learned. Thanks everyone.
Reading the study Pew Internet & American Life Project this week reminds me of all the other things in life, there are two sides to everything…There are no easy solutions as reflected in this study. Internet users with chronic diseases are motivated to use the Internet for a number of reasons, some for support and others for information. It is clear to me that the Internet at least according to this study does not take the place of healthcare givers…Information gotten from the Internet appears to be “in addition to” and not a substitute. My conclusion is that the Internet does have its place in our society today; it provides an outlet for users to share, which affirms the proverb “A problem shared is a problem halved”. I guess it’s human nature to share our emotions either good or bad. The Internet has become our “Village”, users access the Internet for health information for themselves, for friends and to support, I find this quite positive.
In Lister’s, the reading addresses the Internet from daily use and portrays a picture of an average family use of the computer-internet, games e.g. What stood out for me is the effect of the internet on the family, who holds the “power” in a household, may not necessarily be the adults, but who knows how to operate the computer. While the computer was a seen as a tool to keep kids indoor and safe, parents are learning that the computer also has its dark side like everything else. Those evils elements that we are protecting our children against on the streets are on the Internet ready to cause cyber havoc…
Because the use of the new media is multifaceted, does this mean the Internet with the rest of the new media is bad? Or as referenced above there are no easy answers to this question. Has the role of computer evolved from information technologies to game machines?
Cyberspace provides a forum for users to peel off their identity and mask themselves… Or so the users think. In Cameron Bailey’s article, the writer addresses some important issues of cyberspace- the notion that race maybe played down…Is it possible to peel the color of your skin to interact in cyberspace? Freedom in cyberspace has also breed some form of misgiving among users. Bailey’s article touches on how one can construct one’s identity without the aid of racial and cultural makers. Personally, I believe both body and mind represent who we are, hence I struggle with the idea of being able to be someone else in cyberspace.
Nakamura addressed digital technology form three dimensions- gender, access and race. Using physical appearance, preconceived impression and culture, she touches on culture and how culture is intertwined with cyber-culture. Reading her book affirms my belief that race can’t be ignored even in cyberspace because race is important on the topic of gender, sexuality access and interaction.
“ But here I argue that it is computer screens where we project ourselves into our dramas, dramas in which we are producer, director, and star… Computer screens are the new location for our fantasies, both erotic and intellectual”. Turkle captured the essence of digital media today, even though she noted this in the mid 190’s, she captured the essence of what digital media represent now, Twitter and other social media technology have allowed anyone who wants to share their stories or lack of stories with us. I was confronted with an array of emotions; I disagreed and then agreed, then was unsure of the different point of views as I read this week’s articles. In the end it became apparent to me that digital media has totally changed the way we interact with each other for good. In “A rape in Cyberspace” I couldn’t relate to the notion that such barbaric act (rape) could occur in Cyberspace”, my thought was rape had to be physical, the offender and the victim must have physical contact… In Silberman’s “We’re Teen, We’re Queer and We’ve Got E-mail and Turkle’s “Introduction” it suddenly dawn on me that it was about technology (computer) and the user’s relationship. The computer in these 2 articles serve as safe haven for its users… the computer permeates their identities and affords them a way out. In Silberman’s article, teen boys express of a sense of release and camaraderie… a place where it is okay for them to be who they want to be; it is a sense of empowerment that their parents or anyone in real life didn’t give them. It is this sense of affirmation by users like these teen boys that serve as a moment of enlightenment for me… rape may occur in cyberspace if the user uses computer as a simulation rather than as a calculator. Digital media opened up gateway for many to build a sense of self that they couldn’t build in real life, while I cant relate to all these emotions the users feel, I can empathize with them.