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The User is the Content

This week, the reading and the video that we are focusing on this week has an enormous amount of relevance in our current culture.  The reading “Users in Content” explains how there is now so many other ways to produce and consume news content then the out dated model of a newspaper or a newspaper websites.  The reading talks about how back in the day, the only way to consume news was these typical outlets like the New York Post. However, with the emergence of blogging and other online mediums for anyone to produce such content for the greater public.  People do not need to go through these newspaper publications, paying a fee to do so, when there is so much free content online that touches upon all of the same things that the mainstream publications are. Naturally, over time, people wised up to what was happening, including those involved in advertising spaces.  This would change the course of our society as we know it. With the internet becoming ever more important in the overall fabric of our lives, advertisers have cashed in on the opportunity with advertising online. So much traffic coming into these independent blogs and websites, that of course there was a market that could be exploited.  But, this is a symptom of a greater move in the overall sphere. Previously, these large publications did not have anyone holding them accountable, or at the very least, pointing out when they were wrong. From the article, they talk about how with the emergence of political blogs and other forms of critical satire, the larger news sources were exposed for incorrect information or for reporting on something without the necessary context surrounding it.  Think about where we are now in this cycle. With social media such as twitter and instagram, we are in a constant state of interacting with one another on this online space, and naturally, everything is experiencing levels of criticism that have not come to pass in a “pre-twitter” world. It is a double edged sword like most things; I find it helpful to have such an extensive collection of views and opinions, as I believe it is important to be able to break things down and at least try to be open to seeing things from each point of view.  That, to me, is the only way to truly arrive at a logical and sensible sort of stance on something. The caveat to that is we live in a world with such a massive overload of content and opinions, one must curate skills that allows them to navigate what is real and what is “fake news.” As someone who is purposefully removed from politics (the best I can at least,) I believe arrogantly that I can see things on the political front in a more objective way than most. Add the idea of two party system where these two parties are constant adversaries, there is certainly incentive on both parties to put out skewed narratives.  Let us jump back to ad space thinking about politics. During election season, these political ads truly seem to saturate the market wherever there is a chance to do so. Watch. In the upcoming election you will not be able to go on youtube to see the highlights from the previous nights Islanders game (Yes Yes Yes!) without seeing a message followed by the tag line “I am *blank* and I approve this message.” It is truly amazing to see how the norm has shifted in light of this new age in social connectivity. Traditional publications are struggling because there is no true need for them anymore; in 2020, anybody can be the most trusted authority in particular subjects.  Look to Gary Vanyerchuck and Joe Rogan. They are two of the most well known and influential people in the world all because of their online presence. I am excited to see how Nieves presents this information to us and the discussions that follow in this weeks #netnarr class.

One reply on “The User is the Content”

Thanks for including that video Krock. It is important as is your accompanying analysis. Although it makes my brain hurt & uncomfortable, I don’t think that we can muzzle the 1st Amendment & that we should allow political ads with clear disclaimers. He’s right about the fact that a mark of totalitarian government is a control of the media. But it’s a double-edged sword with the baked in rhetorical question: Is the media being manipulated anyway!

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