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/


Assessment 3

Social Media Sites

He Li 47002781     Thursday 12pm, Fiona Andreallo

Social Media Sites

In the contemporary, social media plays a crucial role in society. The popularity of smartphones becomes the driving force to promote the influence of social media on people. Indeed, social media is increasingly infiltrating through our daily life. Therefore, some argued that this phenomenon would bring convenience, services as well as enrich social for individuals. However, some experts worried about social media would have negative impacts on society. For instance, Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth (2013) cited that the greatly popular and widespread of social media would cause a flattening in definitions of the ‘social’.(Lovink, 2012 ).  It is necessary to find out the concept as well as functions of SNSs to discuss this topic.

Social Network Sites (SNSs) are the foundation of the social media, which are the connector between social media platforms and people. To be more specific, SNSs established the real platforms that allowed users to create the online presence and connected with others. For example, our campaign used three Social Network Sites which bring an opportunity for us. Thus, we can post images, articles as well as videos via different social media platforms to connect and communicate with the audience. Moreover, SNSs not only provide a chance for individuals to receive and post a profile but also help them manage their social network. Boyd and Ellison (2007) claimed that social network sites are unique due to it allows individuals to make visible their social networks instead of meeting strangers. Social Network Sites are the essential factor to enhance the construction of social networks by the Internet, Ellison and Boyd defined the most accurate concept of Social Network Sites. Firstly, SNSs are the services based the web, which allowed individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system.( Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). It indicates people could access public articles, news as well as other kinds of information via the internet by using SNS. On the contrast, without the web, individuals cannot do these practices. It has limitations, and it also would strike some traditional social practices. For instances, there is independent between different social platforms, all the information and our promotion of Lunch Break Series were on the internet within particular social platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, WeChat and Instagram, because different platforms cannot share information with users. Secondly, SNSs clearly show a list of other related users who share a connection with administrators. (Boyd and Ellison, 2007)


Lastly, Boyd and Ellison (2007)  point out that SNS could view their and others’ lists of connections within the system. In fact, there is a company named HootSuite, which engages in social media management. This company could manage and integrate a user’s information from the different platforms. They could put all of the information in one platform that is much easier and intuitive to manage networks. Therefore, HootSuite could help businesses to promote their brands, according to the connection within the system.


SNS , Communities and Network

Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth elaborate networks and communities that are related to SNS that is online and offline connections between individuals. Author also analysis a research surveyed by Parks in 2011. He examined the online connections and the usage of MySpace. The result of this study showed that social and geographical reasons would effect online relationships. The key point is that online and offline communities are closely related to each other. From another aspect, online social networks were being used by people to maintain the existing offline connection, according to Parks (2011). Meanwhile, Boyd and Ellison provide another survey to support this opinion,  the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life SNS survey conducted in 2010. This research reveals that offline social communities and connection might determine user’s online friends and communities. For example, Hampton et al. (2011) found ‘ 89 per cent of North American users’ Facebook friends are people they have met more than once in person.’  ( Hinton and Hjorth, 2013 ). Meanwhile, individuals who are known from school, work, or other groups, they are likely to be online friends on Facebook, these kinds of situation account for a high percentage of the total number of friends on Facebook (Hampton et al. 2011).  In China, there is a social media named RenRen, as a typical application of networking for classmates, the online connection and communities nearly depend on school communities. Users need to register an account and provide the information about their educational background, including their real name as well as the school’s name which they have been studied in, from primary school until university. Besides, users also need to provide the specific enrollment time, and this could help system to recommended they add and connect with their classmates, so SNS would provide another platform for users to connect with their friends and classmates.9999999999renren_closeup

Another example is QQ. It is a social media which provide a platform for Chinese to connect with communities and culture which existed in offline society. ( Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). The physical environment and cultural factors are the essential reasons for the construction of the online communities. In other words, SNS might enrich people’s social activities. In fact, geographical distance is also a principal factor. It would influence online communities as well as network information. Social media users’ friends are majority close with them, and they generally prefer to spread and pay attention to local news and message.




Based on it, the official account on WeChat has a special function, the manager could find selective public articles and images for different users, according to their location. It might enhance the spread of news value, and it close to people’s daily life. Our team considered this factor, the manager of our official account would base on gender and location to divide our followers into different groups. We also encourage the audience to share our news with their friends.Hinton and Hjorth (2013) claim that although SNS may span the globe, the communities and relationships we maintain not only through the social network but also maintain those through daily life and face to face.


In my opinion, Boyd and Ellison combine concept with examples to reveal social network sites, online and offline communities. Although there are some drawbacks in social media, it is a supplement and helpful for individuals to maintain their offline social network. They objectively elucidate the concept functions as well the influence of  SNS. By citing and analyzing studies to support the theory, the selection of experiments is variety,  which avoids geographical features in social media. Also, it efficiently shows the generality and specific characteristics of social media in different countries and places. The most interesting part of this course is that the concepts could connect with examples. Through these examples we can find useful information about our campaign. We also could do the campaign by ourselves to experience the process, which is a valuable practice. Meanwhile, research, preparation and timetable are important before the campaign starting. These could ensure that the activities carried out orderly and stable.

Reference list:

Boyd, d. and Ellison N. B. (2007) ‘Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship’, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 13 (1). Retrieved from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x

Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Social network sites. In Understanding social media (pp. 32-54). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781446270189.n3

Hampton K. N., Sessions Goulet, L., Rainie, L. and Purcell, K. (2011) Social Networking Sites and Our Lives. 16 June. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP%20-%20Social%20networking%20sites%20and%20our%20lives.pdf.

Lovink, G. (2012) Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Parks M. R. (2011) ‘Social network sites as virtual communities’, in Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Network Sites. New York: Routledge. pp. 105–123.