Fan Culture

Wikipedia Research

I chose to research The Office because I am a fan of the show. When looking at the revision history I noticed that most of the changes were simple grammar and word choice changes. However, there were some major changes made to the cast lists for the British and U.S. versions and a change in the genre from mockumentary/cringe comedy to only mockumentary. The discussions under the “Talk” section were mostly debating small issues like how the cast was ordered, grammar, and whether or not the show was filmed with one camera. For all of the sections we looked at, including the main information page, the revisions history, and the Talk page, I was surprised by the lack of activity/information on the topic. When deciding between “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” I noticed that “Parks and Recreation” has much more activity. I think this may say something about the evolution of fan culture as these shows are of the same genre with similar fanbases—the only difference is the times they were airing.Fan Cutre

Fan Culture

In the past I have thought of fan culture as people with common interests coming together to talk about the shared interest. After reading, it appears that fan culture is much more complex than I thought. Concerning fans who manipulate works to suit their own personal identities or needs, I think their actions are pretty harmless and, in some ways, beneficial. These manipulations create a sort of second life for the work. When it is completed, fans can continue to use it for entertainment and inspiration. Therefore, I think the creators should encourage this kind of activity unless they are uncomfortable with their original work being manipulated in any way; in the end I think it should really depend on the creator’s preferences.

fandom

It makes sense that creators own their original work and have partial ownership of fan manipulations. However, ownership of both originals and fan manipulations as a cultural product is unclear. My best answer would be that the culture that created these products has ownership of it. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with reusing and remixing popular culture as a way of expressing our relationships with the original works as long as it is done with respect to the creators.

fandoms

Of course I consider myself a fan of various TV shows, movies, books, and other forms of entertainment, but I have never really been involved in fan culture online. I see fandoms online, especially on Tumblr, all the time and have explored them somewhat, but I have never taken part in the creation of extensions or discussion within the “fandoms.” I don’t find anything off-putting about these practices apart from the fact that many people perceive these fans as too intense or “rabid” as the author of “The Rabid Fans That Take [Twilight] Much Too Seriously” wrote. However, I tend to be more of an observer than someone who likes to get involved and I think this aspect of my personality is responsible for my lack of direct involvement in fan culture.

fanfiction

iWatch U

Thursday’s Project

On Thursday, my group created a trailer for a movie. We decided to tell the story of a man growing up in a dystopian society where individuals are equipped with permanent Apple Watches from the day they are born. These watches track the individuals’ every moves and report them to the government. At a young age, the main character watches authorities drag his mother away after she attempts to break her Apple Watch. As he grows up he begins to discover the true purposes of the Apple Watches and eventually decides to go on a quest to find his mother. While brainstorming ideas, we simply thought of a piece of technology that is new and exciting today, set the story in the not-too-distant future, and thought of ways the technology could be used by the government to invade individuals’ privacy. I’m not convinced this could happen in the future because individuals, especially those who are not already repressed by the government, would speak out against this and protest before it escalated to this point.

iWatch U

Research Project Update

I have created all of the pages of my website and entered all of the textual information. This week I will add images, infographics, charts, and other media to each of the pages.

The Circle

Of the different dystopian visions portrayed in this week’s readings, I found the excerpt from The Circle the most disturbing. I found all of the visions unsettling, but I think this one connected with me the most because of the descriptive way it was written. I was shocked and disturbed by the way people, without hesitation or doubt, supported SeeChange during the presentation of the idea. Without Bailey’s theory explained, this idea seems like a huge invasion of privacy that would likely lead to disaster. Instead of fear or anger, the presenter receives the following response: “The audience roared again. Someone yelled out, ‘We want it now!’” (Eggers).

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Bailey argues that a complete lack of secrecy and privacy will create a “perfect” society where humans only have the option to do what is right. However, as we have seen in societies in some countries today, repressing people’s rights causes rebellion and chaos. The author of “Consciousness in the Age of Digital Dystopia,” supports this point in saying that North Korea, a nation in which people are given very little freedom and privacy, “provides a lucid example of how directly proportional the proliferation of alternate viewpoints is to the level of cultural evolution” (Wellmann). Therefore, this dystopian vision was the most disturbing to me because I can imagine the consequences of technology like SeeChange.

 

Anonymity and Misrepresentation Online

Final Thoughts of Anonymity and Misrepresentation

After reading about, watching videos on, and discussing the issues of anonymity and misrepresenting yourself online this week, I have come to believe that anonymity is generally a good thing. Anonymity has a number of benefits; it allows for creative freedom, facilitates identity development, and encourages people to help victims of bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts, and more. The author of “Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?” supports this point in writing, “The ability to be anonymous is increasingly important because it gives people control, it lets them be creative, [and] it lets them figure out their identity and explore what they want to do.”

4chanIn the documentary we watched on Thursday, a member of Anonymous described the group, claiming, “It’s one voice. It is not individual voices.” I think this applies not only to the group “Anonymous” but to any anonymous environment. yikyak3Audiences on services like 4chan and YikYak are
made up of millions of people who represent a huge range of interests and experiences. Therefore, when names are hidden, the users blend together into one voice that can connect and respond, without judgement, to anything someone decides to post. While anonymity is notorious for its role in cyberbullying, rumors, and offensive comments, I believe that the positives outweigh these negatives. Similarly, I see the issues that misrepresentation online causes, but I think that the lack of complete authenticity is just something you have to deal with while reaping the benefits of the internet.

anonymous

Research Project Progress

I plan to build and design my website by the end of this weekend.

Racism and Sexism on Google Search

For this blog post, I Google image searched the words “doctor” and “nurse.” As I expected the results for “doctor” were primarily white males and the results for “nurse” were primarily white females.

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These results assert the idea that being a doctor is a man’s job, being a nurse is a woman’s job, Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.37.24 PMand both professions are for white people. This reveals the issues of sexism and racism in our society. When bringing up results, Google’s “spiders” bring up results bases on how many times the keywords are in the webpages, the popularity of the webpage, the age of the webpage, and other factors. The results are then ordered based on these factors and the most relevant images come up first. Therefore, the lack of diversity in my results is simply of reflection of stereotypes and prejudice in our society. Saying that Google’s algorithm is racist or sexist is a false claim; the fact that these results are the most relevant simply reveals the racism and sexism that linger in our society today.

Companies Tracking Consumers

In this experiment, I looked at my Twitter and Tumblr accounts.  Here is a list of the ads I saw

Twitter:Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 6.28.21 PM
Lower My Bills
Twitter Small Biz
Beverly Hills MD
Brilliant Earth
Hyundai
Amazon
Sleep Number
Ticket Master

Tumblr:Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 6.22.05 PM
Marshalls (2)
TJ Maxx
Red Bull
Ray-Ban

The ads on both websites were, overall, pretty random and gender-neutral. I saw more ads for female audiences on Tumblr; I believe this may be because those companies target users who have chosen ‘female’ for their gender or target audiences based on the blogs they follow. I didn’t click on any of these ads; I often scroll through social media feeds without reading or paying any attention to the ads at all. In fact, when I was looking for this experiment, I found it hard to focus on the ads rather than habitually scrolling past them. Therefore, I do not feel like the ads were effective. Overall, I didn’t feel like I had been tracked and targeted personally because none of the ads were relevant to my interests. This may be because I am not very active on social media.

From the readings, I wasn’t very surprised by the way companies are using our data. I learned a lot about this marketing strategy while researching for my project and I’ve been hearing about companies tracking consumers and using their data for years. I do believe this is a very effective marketing strategy; it has and will continue to increase business and draw customers in. However, I think that the more consumers learn about the details of this strategy, the more they will feel that their privacy is being threatened. Eventually, there may have to be more rules in place and precautions taken when tracking of individuals online.

Digital Afterlife

What Should We be Able to Archive

I think we should be able to archive anything that is available on the internet. If friends or others who comment or interact with do not want their connected activity to be archived then they shouldn’t have put it on the internet in the first place. It’s important that people recognize the consequences of putting things on the internet; you lose control of information as soon as you publish it.

Personal Experience With Archiving

I use iCloud to preserve certain content on my phone and laptop, such as photos, apps, documents, and more. I have also used flash drives to archive documents and presentations for transfer to school, but I haven’t used them for long-term storage.

What Should Happen to Our Online Information When We Die?

I think that we should decide what happens to our online content before we pass away; it should be treated like our money and material belongings. If the fate of that content has not been determined before the owner’s passing, I believe the family should decide. I think the idea of an online memorial is interesting and I can see how it could be beneficial to grieving family members and friends. Where that memorial is and whether it is static or dynamic should be determined by the family or the deceased person ahead of time. If it were me, I’d like it to be accessible to close friends and family only.

Post-Life Digital Identity and Current Digital Identity

The ability to archive our post-life digital identity really sets our digital identity apart from our real-life identity. We can essentially create our own legacy; we can decide how we will be remembered. Our post-life digital identity also is very permanent. It does not fade away like memories and it provides a clear image of our identity for as long as it exists. Therefore, due to its influence after death, our digital identity is becoming a more valuable part of our lives. Not only do we have to tailor it to impress employers and entertain family and friends, but we must now be conscious of the fact that it will play a large role in the way we are remembered.

post-life digital identity

Thesis Statement: The presence of the internet has affected the way business’ market by offering new strategies, such as tracking consumers, creating social media profiles, apps, and websites, partnering with other companies, and offering incentives for inviting friends. These new marketing strategies are effective because the are fast an convenient, increase communication between the consumers and company, offer more precise marketing options, and have a positive affect on customer loyalty and brand reputation.

The Making of My Website

Content

So far I have an about page and a contact page. Additionally, I have a blank page titled “Portfolio” to which I might later dedicate to my works of art.

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Navigation

As of now, I have included a link to my blog. I have my Twitter handle under contact information, but I would like to eventually create a link to my Twitter page.

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Goals and Decisions

I chose to stick with the default theme–at least until I can figure out how to create a portfolio. Then I may change it to one of the themes that are designed for displaying work.

In the future, I would like to add a portfolio of artwork and photography that I have done. I would also like to add more detail to the content on each of the pages I created and embed more links.