Online Article and Comments

Course Unit:                             MECO6936 Social Media Communication

Lecturer:                                   Fiona Andreallo

Time of Lecture:                      Thursdays from 12 unti 3 p.m.

Name of Student:                    Yijun Wang

Student ID:                                470036174

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To elaborate more on the imperative meaning of sharing, the structure of this article could be separated into five aspects. Firstly, Dijck talks about the ambiguity of sharing and the meaning of privacy. Then, he analyzes the evolution of ideological meaning of sharing, giving an example of Facebook to explain it. Moreover, Dijck discusses coding structure with two type of sharing, considering the relationship of users and platform owners. Furthermore, the writer talks about social evolving norms within the ecosystem of media.


Talking about the concept of Imperative of Sharing, the author Dijck (2013) states that sharing is a sophisticated and controversial topic, as it not only involves people deliver their personal information to others, but also relates to that private information that are diffused to the third parties. The social meaning of sharing, however, is always opposed to privacy in legal level. According to Zuckerberg (2015), sharing is an evolving word. Dijck (2013) minutely explains that it not just emphasizes the existence in reality and the expression online, but also highlights that the owners have been consulted with the users to achieve coherence of the sense of sharing since 2004. Also, he claims that the meaning of sharing relates to society, economy, culture as well as legitimacy.


Considering the advanced technology, sharing can be understood in two different ways of coding structure. Firstly, sharing can be defined as connectedness. Since, users have ability to share images, texts and videos with other users via purposefully designed interfaces (Dijck, 2013). In this semester our group project use Wechat, as a platform, to promote this concert. I think it is a typical example to illustrate the meaning of sharing. Wechat whose interface permits public to release profiles with their preferred images, make out their name, region, ID, QR code and personal introduction (see figure 1), has an enormous number of functions. For instance, Wechat allows people to follow and communicate with friends via chat and comment in format of voice or video. Also, people could create a group to send texts and voice messages to each participant. Moreover, several featured channel social interaction like the circle of friends allow users to announce the mood of their own and share photos or videos, even reproduce the article and news (see figure 2). Features like scanning could help people add friends, official accounts and complete payment. Wechat spontaneously push new contacts whom you may be willing to communicate and add them to your contact list (see figure 3). Tagging names are convenient to search and identify contacts in a range of friends (see figure 4). Connectivity is another coding quality type of the meaning of sharing, since platform owners expect to share users details to the third parties to maximize profits (Dijck, 2013). For instance, Wechat has a function named wallet where users can transfer money to complete payments, like electric and water bills (see figure 5). Also, it can be used to complete transactions of restaurants and shopping malls. Moreover, it can repay credit card and donate money to the charity. In addition, it is time-efficient because unnecessary processes will be eliminated once you give authority to some web pages and apps to directly use WeChat account to login (see figure 6). All of these connective functions, as a whole, could strongly empower and entirely open users’ information to the third party platform. In addition, platform owners, as spreaders, have access to expose   users details. How much information will be opened to third parties is related to the owner’s available information. Users, as participants, join the platform and use it to maximize the connectedness. Owners will obtain an abundant of profits, if users make sufficient connections (Ellison, Steinfeld, and Lampe 2007, cited in Dijck,2013).



However, according to Dijck (2013), in some situations, users are reluctant to entrust platform, instead they would like to take control of the manipulation and access of third parties. As a result, more and more apps and platforms like Wechat, Facebook, Twitter, tend to divert attention to the second meaning of sharing. The features of Location in Wechat can adequately reflect the evolution from the first type of sharing to another one. Using Wechat and clicking location button, people could be navigated by google map or apple map without supplying any other personal details. Also, people could reserve taxi and food deliver by opening location service and be known by third platforms. Users hope to be served in a personalized way, connecting to what they interested in, which Wechat interface is based on. However, it also implies that user’s information is possible to be opened to third parties.


For corporation, sharing could be divided into two parts. Firstly, it is convenient for users to be connected to third platforms without quitting original platform and clicking complicated buttons. Secondly, platform owners need to ensure their apps could be connected with third parties and provide users information to other parties Dijck (2011). As a result, each company hope to unify a available and shareable online communicate system to maximize benefits. For instance, users can login other platforms by using Wechat account without any extra steps. When people tend to move from Wechat to other platform, they just click the link of new platform in Wechat, agreeing with sharing personal data with them, then people can log into new platform. Companies could cooperate and catch the meaning of sharing to create more functions of their platforms and innovate more novel apps.


The meaning of sharing, however, are not rarely embodied by the effort of technological transformation, like operation code and brand sociality, but reflected by the culture of building an orderly online communication system (Fuller 2003). For example, since Wechat could be authorized by third platforms, the sharing norm has been spread widely and improved by information sharing strategy of related companies. Games, some services and apps, like psychological test, online games, navigation and payment. All of these are based on a method of sharing Wechat accounts’ information and other users’ details to obtain profits. An enormous number of companies would like to cooperate with Wechat by using Wechat connection to gain data about each user then provide better experiences. Using this method to maximize the amount of clicks and advertise their companies and apps, which achieve a win-win situation. Not only it is convenient for users, but also increases the income of companies and strengthen the cooperation between them.


Through learning social media communication during this semester, I learn a lot of knowledge about operation platform and how to satisfy the demand of users. In this course, I deeply understand the distinction of place and space as well as the difference between networks and communities. Moreover, I have mastered the idea of associating culture with social media evolution and how users contribute to new content innovation. In addition, I have grasped how to perfectly integrate the online and offline world experiences. I think this course is really useful and practical which could help us keep up with changes in web and the behaviors and habits of online users.


In the further future, I think sharing would be reflected widely and the trend of   information sharing might be soaring. Users could be still interested in sharing in web and transfer between platforms optionally. More importantly, the online eco-system would be more perfect and unified. Opening and sharing personal data to third parties would be standardized and rationalized.




Dijck, J. v. (2011). Flickr and the Culture of Connectivity: Sharing Views, Experiences, Memories. Memory Studies 4(4), 401–15.


Dijck, J. v. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity : A Critical History of Social, Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzU2NDIwOF9fQU41?sid=9bccb32e-ff50-41c7-8e99-8c408bb4087d@sessionmgr4006&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1


Fuller, M. 2005. Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture. Cam-bridge: MIT Press.


Zuckerberg. M. (2010). Zuckerberg’s interview with Time, Retrieved from http://www.ceo.com/media_type/videos/time-video-zuckerberg-interview/



One thought on “Online Article and Comments

  1. Hi Yijun.
    Your article has resonated with my experience of using wechat. As a Chinese, wechat is the very platform that I could not live without. Here I want to share my experiences of using wechat.

    First, wechat is my major communication tool to get in touch with my friends and family. With wechat, communication can via not only text message and photo but also voice message, voice call and video call.
    Second, group chat is a great function for boosting friendship and family bond. In addition, many companies or teams create group chats to transmit files and make notification in order to improve work efficiency.
    Third, wechat also provides a community space for moment sharing. All our friends in wechat contact list could share micro blogs with pictures and videos, or URLs about their interested things. By sharing or viewing moments on wechat, we are not only closer to our friends but also the society, even the world.

    The above three viewpoints are defined as connectedness in your article. I strongly agree with what you say, “Users, as participants, join the platform and use it to maximize the connectedness.” Because we rely heavily on wechat to bond relationships as well as keep pace with the world. The follow points I am going to list are about my experience of using wechat as my wallet.

    First, wechat allow us to connect our bankcards with it and do much kind of transactions. For example, we can top up our transportation card and pay utility bills on wechat.
    Second, in China, almost all restaurants and shops support wechat pay. This means if I am doing shopping or eating outside, I do not need cash with me if I bring my phone with wechat in it.
    This function is defined as connectivity in your article. I believe that restaurants or shops that allow wechat pay are more welcomed by people. In addition, this connection between wechat and those merchants could bring a win-win profit—-more people would create wechat account and more wechat users would consume in those restaurants and shops that support wechat pay. This also takes effect in the connection between wechat and other social media platforms, which is explained by your example about using same account to sign in several social media platforms.

    Overall, I quite like your essay for it reminds me about how powerful wechat is.


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