Since people stepped into the digital age, there are numerous social media websites had been established. People’s life has changed unconsciously with the developed technology.The main reason for the increased social networking site is people nowadays are under the age of web2.0. And the definition of ‘social’ had been changed gradually. Social media influence the way people think, behave and present. This article will discuss mainly discuss the social media under web2.0 era, which includes self-representation and user-created content, along with the reflection of myself in this unit.
What is Web2.0?
The term ‘web2.0’was pointed out by O’Reilly (2005), he presents the example of the initial internet web system versus Web2.0.
(image source: O’Reilly, 2005)
However, it is hard to say that Web2.0 has a specific boundary, Web 2.0 was evolved from the past Web. It is a revolutionary step of internet-based services, and what has been changed is including the methods of interaction, the styles of development, and the sources of material (Lewis, 2006). Hinton and Hjorth (2013) mention that web2.0 is the old internet services mode transferred to a ‘user-focused’ model. Users are not just receiving the information online passively anymore. According to Truman (2007), web2.0 is the new generation of internet system and it has lots of new characteristics, such as:
– The web are platforms for interaction
– A user-friendly interactive interface
– Communities of interests
– Users are co-developers
– Collective intelligence
– The “audience” decides what is important
From offline life to online life
In the past, people has traditional media such as television and radio, and the audience cannot decide what content they want to watch or what broadcast they want to listen. At that period, people are more likely to communicate with others face-to-face. And people present themselves in the offline life. Obviously, the conversation usually takes place between acquaintances. Offline life is passive but more realistic. However, after the emergence of web2.0, audience find out that they can express their personalities online. Here the Self-representation become difference from the old one. The idea of self-representation is ‘the identity work occurs in a social context via the interactions between the self with others online’ (Mallan, 2009).
The central of social media under web2.0 is ‘sharing’ (Mallan, 2009). Social media provide new ways and spaces for users construct virtual identities. People participating online, and this act is all about sharing themselves with others, no matter pictures, texts or videos. This is the process of self-exposure and self-representation. However, self-representation is not the fundamental purpose of network society; the primary aim of SNS is socializing online. In the same time, self-representation appears when socializing (Enil & Thumim, 2012).
But are you the ‘real you’ online, or you just want to show what you want to others think you are. Take Facebook as an example, there are 1.591 billion monthly active users on Facebook, but it is estimated that there are 5.5% to 11.2% accounts on Facebook are fake (Protalinski, 2014). In spite of the total fake accounts, such as fake name and pictures, even people use their true name online, they even express the ‘other themselves’ in the virtual world. It is said, “On the internet, no one knows you are a dog” (Steiner, P). People seems to like post a better people online. For instance, some netizens use Photoshop to makes selfies looks better. They care a lot about appearance, and want to others think they look good. Some people does not on their vacation, but they post the pictures of tourist attraction and prepare they are going for a trip. They just want to get ‘like’ from their virtual friends online. Therefore, users created their digital profiles as well as the online identities for their self-pleased (Enil & Thumim, 2012).
Rather than being a website consumer, people now can be the produser due to UCC. User-created content could be defined as material and other media sources on websites are created by the users of the website (Wallace, 2016). This is different from the online content in web1.0 era because the designers and professionals are the primary producers of a website in the past. In UCC era, netizens as amateurs, can also produce content online. Moreover, in most case, the amateurs even contribute more (Wallace, 2016). There are several features of UCC, which including:
- participative web.
- content made publicly and available over the Internet;
- content reflects an amount of creative effort;
- content can be out of the box due to the amateur has different created way from professional routines and practice.
(Vincent & Vickery, 2007).
Furthermore, content produced by online users has become extremely popular, and most of the popular site are mainly user created. People can enjoy thefreedom of expression and free flow of information. For instance, Wikipedia has most of its content from users. Everyone can evaluate the content, enrich it and even revise it. Though no author gets paid from Wikipedia, it is kind of ‘creation process’ makes users distinct this UCC type from other types. This is opposite to traditional media’ one-to-many communication. As the developed of the web, users need two-ways communication platforms to express their own opinions. For example, blog sites, where users can post any topic they want to (Wallace, 2016). Overall, UCC changes in the way people contribute, access and reuse information, it raises users’ participation and information diversity.
Nevertheless, UCC still faces several challenges. Due to the content online are so easy to create or reuse, the quality of content, copyright, security problems have emerged. The quality issue is related to the accuracy of the online content; it can never say that all the information online is accurate. Some people fake the information, some people have different opinion that might unpleased others. And security problem is also serious, such as identity theft or personal information over explore. But I believe we might step into web3.0 sooner, lots of problems might be amended (Nightingale, 2011).
Reflection on my campaign & this unit
I have done my campaign ‘Pack Your Trunk’ this semester, it was a little bit hard for me to start. Due to I firstly thought the task is a campaign strategy, I chose a little bit difficult topic, which is elephants welfare in another country. Additionally, when I knew this campaign should be posted on social media platform, I was nervous because I do not think people would participant in my campaign at that time. After I launched the campaign online, I realized that although this is a tough topic, I can make it. At first, I asked my friends to engage in this campaign, and they helped me spread my post. I appreciated for their efforts and some strangers’ engagement. After did this campaign, I felt that I gain more confidence in implementing a campaign on social media. I thought this unit is practical because I learnt theoretic knowledge as well as actual operation.
Enil, G.S., & Thumim, N. (2012). Socializing and Self-representation online: Exploring Facebook. Retrieved 20 April, 2016 from http://www.obs.obercom.pt/index.php/obs/article/viewFile/489/487
Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. London: SAGE.
Lewis, D. (2006). What is web 2.0? Crossroads, 13(1), 3-3. doi:10.1145/1217666.1217669
Mallan, K. (2009). Look at me! Look at me! Self-representation and self-exposure through online networks. Retrieved from the Digital Culture & Education website: http://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/uncategorized/mallan-2009-html/
Nightingale, V. (2011). The Handbook of Media Audiences. Retrieved 20 April, 2016 from https://books.google.com.au/books?id=_PFLG9snIdQC&pg=PA201&lpg=PA201&dq=difference+UCC+and+UGC&source=bl&ots=fPLGp3Dzsb&sig=K2drfef_bKZ9E6LcsXBiUb1Ii90&hl=zh-CN&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjb-JXE9qDMAhVJkpQKHTA7DRYQ6AEINDAE#v=onepage&q=difference%20UCC%20and%20UGC&f=false
O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is web2.0. Retrieved 20 April, 2016 from http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1
Protalinski, E. (2014). Facebook estimates that between 5.5% and 11.2% of accounts are fake. Retrieved 20 April, 2016, from http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/02/03/facebook-estimates-5-5-11-2-accounts-fake/#gref
Truman, R. (2007). What is web 2.0? B&T Weekly, 18.
Vincent, S.W., & Vickery, G. (2007). Participative web: user-created content. Retrieved 20 April, 2016 from http://www.oecd.org/sti/38393115.pdf
Wallace, O .(Ed.). (2016). What is user-generated content. Retrieved 20 April, 2016 from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-user-generated-content.htm