Social Media Reading Discussions

RE: Lesson 6

Who Owns the Wisdom of the Crowd

Question: Consider this article within a broader framework of privacy and how privacy issues are affecting the current technological landscape (think Instagram, Facebook etc). Perhaps begin with Jarvis’ notions that:

* We all want to control our contributions.
* We all want the community to benefit if we in turn benefit.
* We expect mutual trust in the forms of transparency and honesty
* And we all — individual, collective, enabler — find uncivil behavior (spam, fraud, hate) unacceptable.

Privacy of media has always been a constant issue in the communications realm. New technologies are constantly taking and adding away privacy settings that confuse the user and make it harder to make your information private. The question is, is any media we post private? This article aims to discuss who really has the ownership to our privacy. In the ideal world the individual would have control over his or her media output and input. Jeff Jarvis, the author, answers this question as the crowd has control over our individual privacy. His first law of media explains, “give us control and we will use it. The corollary: Don’t give us control and you will lose us.“ Currently major institutions control the world of communication. What Jarvis is saying is that we need to find a “decentralized world, a world controlled by us.” Once we are able to do this we will gain the rights to our privacy back. Furthermore, we want to create a community of media users and producers that “we can trust in the forms of transparence and honesty.” Too often as users we are forced into advertisements and having institutions watch our every move. We need to find a way to take control of this and create an online community where a user feels safe.

The People Formerly Known as The Audience

Question: Jay Rosen writes, “the people formerly known as the audience are those who were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all.”

What is Rosen telling us about the people formally known as the audience? Has there been a shift in power? How has citizen journalism affected the traditional news media?

Rosen is saying the people formally known, as the audience is the passive audience. These are the people who chose to believe everything they were shown or told on the media. Big corporations had this attention of the audience and used it to their advantage. However, there has been a shift in power. Furthermore, with the introduction of smaller individual based media sources, the audience has become more active. This new “active audience” is looking for news in more than one place and comparing the stories. In addition, the audience isn’t only the consumer they are now the producer as well. Introducing new stories to the media from blogs, twitter, and facebook shares people are finding out things faster and quicker than waiting for the nightly news program. Citizen journalism is filling the cracks that traditional news media is forgetting or not mentioning. This is taking the control from the big producers and allowing the audience to become a part of this non-stop pinwheel of information.

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