Assessment 3

Locative Media, Place and Online Social Media Sites

Jingyan Liu (440419457) / Thursday 12-2pm- Fiona Andreallo


The rapid development of locative media is creating greater interactions between individuals and ‘place’ (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 126-130). The scholars Sam Hinton and Larissa Hjorth effectively define place as the human meaning given to space, such a meaning that without would make the space just another geographical point on a map (2013, pp. 126-127). The development of smartphone driven locative media and its adoption by online social media is enabling users to interact with place on levels not previously accessible with past human artifacts, such as maps and photographs (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 121-124). Furthermore, online social media sites through their structure and approach are facilitating ‘localised’ bonds, wherein small groups of family and friends are bounded together through their shared experience of place (Evans 2016, pp. 102-110). Also in rarer circumstances online social media sites become the grounds for large movements, which are the amalgamation of many localised groups loosely united through shared feelings towards a place (Keane 2010). Yet, as online social media sites begin taking greater interest in locative media, the future of locative media will largely be focused on the ordinary user (Wilken 2014, pp. 1089-1098).

Locative Media

Locative media is changing how users understand place. In particular, smartphone driven locative media is creating ever present places regardless of whether the user is actually physically present in them (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 121-124). Through the development of Internet supported smartphones, users are able to use the Internet from virtually anywhere (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 121-122). Therefore, users can be co-present in the physical space, while also being present in online places that are geographically miles away. This copresence in the physical and virtual place is especially challenging to traditional conceptions of place (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 121-126). Before the invention of the Internet and smartphones, copresence still could be achieved through artifacts, such as maps and photographs, albeit in a far limited form. For maps, people were influenced by the structure of the map, seeing distant places as culminations of contours, lines and degrees. The person was simultaneously present in the place the map was found, while also being present in the particular contours, lines and degrees of the place being viewed on the map. For photographs, people were physically present within the photograph’s visual depiction of place, while also being present in their memories of that place, memories which were triggered by the photograph.

Yet, this copresence is limited by the artifact’s bias. The bias is the perspective provided to the user by the technological limitations of the artifact. For example, the map’s bias is the way it presents place solely through contours, lines and degrees. Similarly, the photograph’s bias is how it offers only a snapshot of place, without text or video to enrich it. On the other hand, present locative technology allows users to experience physically unbounded places at anytime through the Internet and in greater than before sensory degrees, including through attached text, video, and sound (Hinton & Hjorth 2013, pp. 126-130).

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 02.14.38

(An example of smart-driven locative software)


Locative Media and Online Social Media

Online social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide the platforms for virtual displays of place in addition to providing users a platform to share their feelings about such virtual representations of place (Evans 2016, pp. 108-110). User’s feelings are expressed in a variety of ways, all of which depend on the specific structure of the online social media site. These ways include: commenting, sharing, reproducing, photo-editing, campaigning, liking, subscribing and even pirating. These ways of interacting with virtual representations of place were not possible before the invention of online social media. Moreover, online social media through its navigable networking platforms and simple facilitation of shared content enables users to rapidly share with family and friends their thoughts and feelings about the place being represented (Evans 2016, pp. 107-111). For example, imagine an Instagram user posting a video of themselves enjoying the view on the Eiffel Tower. Once the user posts this video, their Instagram friends can then like and share the video. The user’s friends may comment on this video, sharing similar experiences they have had on the Eiffel Tower. A bond then develops between the user posting the video and the friends who commented on it. Instagram therefore has facilitated shared connections to place, which is enabled through its network software and facilitated through its communication programs that let users post, like, share and comment.     

Yet this bond is localised. It is localised because it exists only with the user and their friends (Evans 2016, pp. 102-110). Although other Instagram users may post similar video posts about the Eiffel Tower, these posts will likely be shared only between their own Instagram friends and thus more localised bonds will develop. This is not to say that localised groups cannot be joined together through online social media and become movements, however it is less common.  For example, when the Muslim organisation, The Cordoba Initiative, planned on building a mosque in close proximity to where the World Trade Centre once stood, Twitter became a firestorm of rhetoric for and against building the mosque (Keane 2010). The Cordoba Initiative hired a social media expert, Oz Sultan, to organise people through Twitter who felt the mosque was a positive step towards reconciliation (Keane 2010). Yet, Oz Sultan supportive stance towards constructing the mosque was opposed by prominent politicians representing the views of the 70% Americans polled by the CNN, who all disagreed with the mosque’s construction (Keane 2010). Even fringe groups expressed their opposition to the mosque’s construction through Twitter, such as the Jewish newspaper Haaretz and apparently from even groups claiming to be Amish (Keane 2010).

Therefore, the place where the World Trade Centre once stood in relation to the place where the mosque’s construction was proposed, polarised multiple localised groups from the Haaretz newspaper operating within Tel Aviv to the followers of Oz Sultan and his team (Keane 2010). Although this polarisation of Twitter groups for and against the mosque’s construction unlikely created a unity of ideas, as religious, political, cultural, social and ethical arguments were different focuses of different groups, the feelings of these groups were mutual (Keane 2010). The place where the World Trade Centre once stood is for many people a sombre reminder of the devastation that took place on 911 and those groups opposing the mosque through Twitter likely shared sensitive feelings of anger, apprehension and disgust towards the mosque’s construction nearby (Keane 2010). For people supporting the construction of the mosque through Twitter, they likely felt that the mosque’s construction would be a symbol of reconciliation and reharmonisation between Muslims and Americans and would help heal the rift following 911 (Keane 2010). Therefore, the large culmination of groups for and against the Mosque’s construction shows how in some circumstances localised online social media groups can be amalgamated into movements unified through generalised, but shared feelings. Also, this large-scale Twitter debate shows how place can be a powerful motivator for public protest and divide, as the site of the old World Trade Centre is still a sensitive area.


(The Place where the Mosque was to be built)


The Future of Locative Media and Online Social Media

Online social media is gradually realising the commercial value of using locative media (Wilkens 2014, pp. 1088-1095). For example, Facebook, which is the largest and most successful online social media company greatly recognises the commercial benefit in developing locative software for its site (Wilkens 2014, pp. 1089-1092). Facebook has reaped large revenues from the data it accrues (Wilkens 2014, pp. 1095-1097).  Being the largest and most successful online social media site, Facebook has access to a large expanse of user data. Yet, in recent years Facebook has been challenged by companies, such as Foursquare and Yelp, which has gathered lucrative locative data on the places users are most interested in (Wilkens 2014, 1088-1090). Facebook has come to realise that enriching its data through adding geo-markers to it increased the commercial value of such data would increase. Although Facebook has been slow to recognise the value of locative data, it has recently launched locative software through its release of Facebook Places and its successor Nearby (Wilkens 2014, pp. 1090-1093). Both Facebook Places and Nearby encouraged users to share their location through posts and through users automatically showing their location when signing in through a mobile device (Wilkens 2014, pp. 1090-1093). As online social media sites, such as Facebook place greater value on locative data, their customer base, which exists of mainly ordinary people and advertisers will become the primary targets of future locative software.

(An example of Facebook’s locative software)

It is likely that Facebook will continue developing its locative software, perhaps enabling users to piece together coherent narratives based on their geo-marked data (Evans & Saker 2016, pp. 1-5). However, these narratives can only be produced through Facebook and other sites similar to it retaining geo-marked data and releasing it to ordinary users. Furthermore, Facebook and other online social media sites will probably explore ways to represent this data in ways, which are controlled by the users themselves (Evans & Saker 2016, pp. 3-7). If no software was available for users to organise their geo-marked data, then the users would find masses of time-stamped data senseless. However, if users had access to programs, which can organise this data in flexible ways, then such data would be of importance to the user (Evans & Saker 2016, pp. 7-9). Interestingly, Foursquare has already begun experimenting with data retention for individual users (Evans & Saker 2016, 3-5). Although this data come unsorted, except for being time stamped and geo-marked. Users still have to journal and organise this data manually. The scholars Michael Saker and Leighton Evans interviewed Foursquare users on their views towards Foursquare locative data retention (2016, pp. 4-7). Interestingly, some of the users interviewed, such as Martin and Ellie used this data to journal their lives from a temporal and locational perspective (Evans & Saker 2016, p. 7). Both Martin and Ellie commented on how they want to remember all the significant places they visit, so they can better understand themselves (Evans & Saker 2016, p. 7). For Martin and Ellie, retained locative data enables them to develop their self identity through analysing their day-to-day movements (Evans & Saker 2016, p. 7). Although Foursquare is yet to develop software that allows ordinary users to process and organise their locative data in meaningful ways, Foursquare does offer a window into the future for how users will interact with locative data.



Evans, L. (2016). “Sharing Location with Locative Social Media.” Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 86-116.

Evans, L. and Saker, M. (2016). “Locative Media and Identity: Accumulative Technologies of the Self.” SAGE Open, 6(3), 1-10.

Keane, M. (2010). “Social Media Lessons from the Ground Zero Mosque.” Econsultancy.<>. (Accessed 23 April 2017).

Hjorth, L. and Hinton, S. (2013). “Social, Locative and Mobile Media.” Understanding Social Media. London: SAGE, 120-135.

Wilken, R. (2014). “Places Nearby: Facebook as a Location-Based Social Media Platform.” SAGE Open, 16(7), 1087-1103.

Images in order of appearance

Google Maps. (2017). “Google Maps Phone.” bhdreams.<>. (Accessed 23 April 2017).

Noel, Y. (2010). “Planned Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center Near the World Trade Center Site Spurs Controversy.” NYC loves NYC. <>. (Accessed 23 April 2017).

Jolly, L. (2012). “Locative Media and Anonymity.” A Media and Communications Blog. <>. (Accessed 23 April 2017).

Assessment 3

UGC & PGC: Which is the Main Trend?

Name: Joshua Chen Sun

SID: 460441739

Tutorial Time: Thursday 12pm-3pm

Tutor: Kai Soh

UGC and PGC ex


The main characteristic in Web 1.0 is editing. The contents given away on the website are postproduction works, which is a one-way relationship from website to users. One of the key elements in the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 is user participant (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). The role of consumer in Web 2.0 could not only be the browser but also be the producer. Thereupon, UGC (User-generated Content) as a new model has become the one of the most popular hot spots in 21st. One of the most successful UGC cases is YouTube, which was established on the basis of UGC model and has tremendously developed to one of the top websites on the Internet (Welbourne and Grant, 2015). UGC helps users and websites to interact with each other in social media systems. Even a part of the works selected will be featured on official websites which constitute a interactive relationship between users and websites. However, limitation of UGC also exists such as low quality and massive sources could bring a negative emotion to audience. PGC (professionally generated content) is born to satisfy the multiplex demands of audience. Netflix, one of the top streaming media companies, created PGC “Netflix Original” on their services in order to prepaid the copyright of the original shows and sign the contract of two seasons of most series automatically (Kim, 2016). This is more specialized than other competitors to attract and retain their audiences. Both YouTube and Netflix are the leading companies to use user participant content and have already obtained prodigious achievements. This paper will discuss which of the content will become the main trend in the next revolution of Internet development, UGC or PGC?


The Concepts of UGC and PGC

Generally speaking, UGC (User-generated Content) could be defined as the same as UCC (User-created Content). The only difference between UGC and UCC is whether the content is made by users or others. The latest understanding of the term UGC is the depiction of content produced by the consumers and terminal users such as blogs, videos, GIF (Graphic Interchange Format), memes, comments and any other types of contents shared public availably on the social network society (Beal, 2017). As Krogh (2014) declared, not all UGC are created by non-professionals. Those part of contents uploaded by professionals and browsed freely for public should also called UGC. Thus, the idea of UGC could be redefined   as nonprofitable online user-made content.

By the contract, user-generated content creator could be treated as amateur science communicator (Welbourne and Grant, 2015). Which means anyone who is access to the network society is able to be UGC producer. Thereupon, the limitation of UGC is inevitably exposed to full view with low quality, less restriction and lack of professional skills. Up to the commercial level, in spite of the high-yield level and widely-spread influence, UGC is still not the gold-lettered signboard of a considerable income and well advertising for most markets. Hence, a new model comes on stage of we-media era named PGC (Professionally Generated Content).

PGC which is more specialized than UGC is the content created by special groups with professional skills and technique (Ai, 2016). Assume UGC is the sampan, PGC would be more like an aircraft carrier because of the specialized content it has. That means PGC has broader and deeper content for commercialization such as build a corporate image promotion. In general case, content produced professionally by enterprises called professionally generated content (Welbourne and Grant, 2015). While some contents are created by individuals who also have mastery of a particular skill or technique with commerce value and social significance like the contributor. Game company will select brilliant works and purchase the copyright from the original contributors. Contributors even will receive job offers from the game company such as Blizzard Entertainment. Those contents are given away for profit making should also be called PGC. Therefore, the idea of PGC could be redefined as profitable online specialized content.

From UGC to PGC

Knoblauch (2014) states that UGC is more influential than other media (traditional media and other non-UGC media) investigated from 839 millennials (18-36) by Ipsos company and the Social Media Advertising Consortium. Millennials who are born with the invention of the Internet from 1977 to 1994 trust UGC 50% more than other media. One of the most famous millennials could be Mark Zuckerberg, also known as world youngest billionaire who is the founder of Facebook which is a successful social communication system base on UGC mode. One of the most successful UGCs on Facebook is the campaign “share a coke” which has already achieved a huge success. With the hashtag #ShareaCoke, consumers create an online media content and engage into the campaign. Furthermore, nearly 25 million consumers follow Coke-Cola on Facebook. 

share a cokeBoth Facebook and “Share a Coke” show the highly user participation of UGC mode. However, the limitation of UGC still exists. This is also the main reason companies turn to transmit their marketing strategy from UGC to PGC to promote the competitiveness in the rising flood of UGC environment. YouTube was founded in 2005 based on UGC mode and has rapidly become one of the giant streaming media websites in the Internet. After being purchased by Google, the content on YouTube started to transit from UGC to PGC such as YouTube Red, a subscription music streaming service which has obtained 1.5 million subscribers in 2 years (Roberts, 2016). Another content created by YouTube named YouTube TV has already had access to five main markets in America since it has been released on February 28 in 2017.

YouTube Red

Kim (2012) outlined the concern about the future of UGC will end with the rise of PGC. However, according to the Isos survey and the research from Welbourne and Grant (2016), UGC is still the most trusted media content. PGC is also indispensable because of the impure content created by users such as fake news which are supposed to be filtered on the Internet. PGC help companies fit in with the needs of the content friendly network society in Web 2.0. 

Related to The Campaign and Discussion

The main theory of social media used in our campaign could be user-generated content. In our first activity, the pictures taken by our photographer are edited in Photoshop (a picture processing software) to generate the creative memes with meaningful texts. All the memes are used to help introduce the performers and advertise the music concerts on Instagram every week. To engage the audiences and the online consumers into our campaign, the second activity named “Guess which melody I am humming?” launched on our official  Facebook account are required users to hum a melody from the song which is in the list of the concert. Three friends are invited to join in the guessing game and asked to pass on in the same way. The function of Facebook plays a vital role in this campaign. The three buttons “Like, Comment and Share” are the key for the user participation.

Discussion: It seems like both activities are UGC, but our campaign for free music concert is created by a team consisting of editor, photographer and video post producer. What if the audiences are attracted by our campaign and buy the tickets to the other concerts, does that means the content become a professionally generated content or a combination of both UGC and PGC? 


The examples of the YouTube and the contents our group created in the campaign prove the noncontradiction between UGC an PGC. On the contrary, UGC and PGC could be inseparably interconnected. UGC is more like normal students in a comprehensive university studying in variety majors. While PGC could be the top students in different areas. A mature Internet content should be created based on the combination of UGC and PGC. UGC is the key to attract audiences by contributing user participant and flows. PGC would be used to specialize the depth of the content and build the brand promotion at the same time. The combination of UGC and PGC strategy are supposed to become the new step of the next generation of Internet development. 


Ai, Q. (2016). The transition of China’s video website: a case study of LeEco. Retrieved from

Beal, V. (2017, April 13).  What is the User-generated Content? Retrieved from

Editors, T. N. S. (2015). The millennials: Americans born 1977 to 1994 (6th ed.). Amityville: New Strategist Press, LLC.

Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Participation and user created content. In Understanding social media (pp. 55-76). London: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781446270189.n4

Kim, J. (2012). The institutionalization of YouTube: From user-generated content to professionally generated content. Media, Culture & Society, 34(1), 53-67. doi:10.1177/0163443711427199

Krogh, P. (2014, April 16). UGC and PGC. Retrieved from

Robert, H. (2016, November 3). YouTube’s ad-free paid subscription service looks like it is struggling to take off. Retrieved from

Welbourne, D. J., & Grant, W. J. (2016). Science communication on YouTube: Factors that affect channel and video popularity. Public Understanding of Science, 25(6), 706-718. doi:10.1177/0963662515572068

Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Web 2.0 and Participatory Culture

(Tutorial: Kai Soh – Wednesday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm)


Web 2.0 and Social Media

Before the introduction of Web 2.0, the internet was built upon an old school model where computers were connected to each other through a common basic data transfer protocol called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). With the constant need for improvement and advancement in technology, the Web 2.0 model was introduced where computers were able to take over more cumbersome tasks such as formatting and presentation, thus allowing users to concentrate solely on their content. Australian new media theorists Anna Munster and Andrew Murphie (2009) saw the Web 2.0 culture to be “dynamic, participatory, engaged, interoperable, user-centred, open, collectively intelligent, and so on”.

Furthermore, Hinton and Hjorth (2013) believe that the Web 2.0 model adopted and encouraged an environment where technical barriers were removed, thus allowing the emergence of social networking sites. They help understand this concept by giving the example of a blog. Websites such as ‘WordPress’, ‘BlogSpot’ and ‘Tumblr’ provide the user with an easy to navigate and user-friendly platform, where they can worry less about the ‘look’ of their content and instead focus on the written material.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 12.30.54 amFuchs (2014) explained key distinctions between the various web models where “web 1.0 is a computer- based networked system of human cognition, web 2.0 a computer-based networked system of human communication, web 3.0 a computer-based networked system of human co-operation”. Elaborating on the Web 2.0 and 3.0 models, Shirky (2008, p. 20f) states that

Social media and social software are tools that increase our ability to share, to co- operate, with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutional institutions and organizations” (cited in Fuchs, 2014).

Participatory Culture

Participatory culture is quite the opposite of a traditional communication model, where a small amount of mass media outlets speaks to a large group of people, mostly generating a one-way conversation (Fuchs, 2014). Henry Jenkins (2008) believes that “participatory culture is mainly about expressions, engagement, creation, sharing, experience, contributions and feelings”. Making up the crux of the participatory culture is social media. Hinton and Hjorth (2013) consider the tool to be a participative medium where users are constantly and actively providing information of their daily activities, their lives and even their thoughts and opinions.


As stated above, the Web 2.0 model has allowed room for increased participation by making content creation and distribution less challenging, and with the emergence of social media, Hinton and Hjorth (2013) feel that in many cases, it is also free. Participation can take place in various forms, it could be either through a ‘like’ button on Facebook, or through User Generated Content (UGC) where users forward content made by others, or even User Created Content (UCC) where the content is created by the user (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Examples of online platforms which encapsulate the essence of participatory culture are websites such as Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where a smaller community comes together to share their knowledge and experiences with the broader community (Fuchs, 2014).

Jenkins (2008), Bird (2011), and Costello and Moore (2007) share similar views on participatory culture and user generated content – or ‘produsers’ as Bruns coined the term (Bird, 2011). They believe that online communities, and fan communities in particular, while bonding and shaping each other’s views and opinions, have the potential to form a powerful bargaining unit. Due to the ever-increasing impact of these communities in today’s online world, several large corporations have begun to change their perception and means of interaction with their fans. Companies now seek to establish a stronger connection with their consumers by giving the opportunities to participate and shape new content on their behalf, particularly through their online or social media platforms.

Example #1 – Share A Coke Campaign

Coke_metro3A significant example of participatory culture where a large corporation turned to their consumers, inviting them to participate and help create a unique product, is the Share A Coke campaign initiated by the Coca-Cola company. In 2012, Coca-Cola (Coke) noticed that the brand “had lost its relevance and cool factor with Australia” (Ogilvy Australia, 2012). The company thus decided that they needed to come up with an initiative which reaches out to the local population of Australia and “reconnect” (Ogilvy, 2013) on a personal level rather than commercial. This iconic brand then proceeded to print 150 of the most common Australian names on Coke bottle labels and distributed them to stores over night.

Coca-Cola’s stunt pulled in an overwhelming response across both social and traditional media, with consumers rushing to either purchase a Coke with their name on it, or gift it to a friend, or both. “Australia had fallen in love” (Ogilvy, 2013) and Coke had over thousands of requests for additional names flooding their social media platforms. Coca-Cola, took into account the volume of participation they garnered across their social media channels, and left a mark amongst their consumers by launching 50 more names on Coke bottles as well as setting up booths across cities where consumers can print their own names on Coke bottles.

The Share A Coke campaign secured record statistics for their stunt with over 76,000 ‘virtual Coke cans’ shared, along with an 870% increase in Facebook traffic and 5% increase in customer base (Ogilvy, 2013). Conceptualised and executed by Ogilvy Australia, the campaign displays key characteristics of a participatory culture where a company invited its consumers to participate and voice their opinions to help shape the company’s image. In addition, the launch of 50 additional names upon popular demand displays how consumers came together on an online platform and worked together to form a ‘powerful bargaining unit’.

Example #2 – Jimmy Kimmel Live

Another example which utilizes the concept of participatory culture is popular talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s YouTube challenges. Focusing primarily on the sub-concepts of participatory culture, several segments of the show largely depend on user-generated content by its audiences.

maxresdefaultTo give an example, running in its sixth year, the ‘Halloween Candy YouTube Challenge’ (Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2016) is an annual segment in which parents record their children’s reaction while they are told that their Halloween candy is gone. The segment is light, fun-filled and humorous where parents then submit videos to the show through YouTube, with a select few being aired during the episodes (Hamedy, 2016).

C6BuVduU8AA1NqZIn addition to the Halloween Candy prank, Jimmy Kimmel Live also has similar segments lined up for Father’s Day and April Fool’s Day (Hamedy, 2016). The late night talk show however not only focuses on YouTube challenges to be ‘in sync’ with today’s digitally buzzing participatory culture, it also hosts a ‘mean tweets’ segment where celebrities read out unpleasant tweets about them that are sent in by the audiences through a dedicated hashtag on twitter (Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2014).

Jimmy Kimmel Live’s user generated content segments showcase the importance of including a consumer to build upon their relationship with brand. Mashable reports that since the launch of these segments, the show’s YouTube channel has built a massive audience with over 8 million channel subscribers and growing (Hamedy, 2016).

From the above case studies, it is clear that in today’s digital age, social media plays a significantly large role in shaping a consumer’s opinion, as well as to garner their attention and loyalty. A participatory culture enables the consumer to feel valued, and leads to the creation of not only a local network, but even a global network, where one may not have existed in the first place.

(WC: 1,248)



Assessment 3

Social, Locative and Mobile media

Student name: Simeng Chang  (Carrie )

Student ID:  460152075

Tutorial: Thursday 6:00pm – 9:00pm    Cherry Baylosis

                 Word count: 1411 worlds


Social, Locative and Mobile media


With the development of the network, network technology is more and more perfect, the global gradually stepped into the information age at present. In recent years, social media has been more and more popular, people has been relying on social media increasingly, which has become an indispensable project in people’s life, especially the mobile media. Mobile social media is a global phenomenon, but also local at every point (Hjorth and Arnold 2013).  With the technique of Location Based Services (LBS) came out, it was well integrated and used in the social media (Hjorth & Hinton, 2013). LBS includes two meanings; the first is to determine the mobile device or user’s geographic location, the second is to provide all kinds of information related to the location service. Over the course of MECO 6936, discussed the meaning of place and space in social media and the influence of LBS for Mobile social media and games.


Core concept

All over the globe, location-based services such as the global positioning system (GPS), geo tagging and Google Maps have become a pervasive part of everyday life through platforms and devices such as smartphones, Android devices, tablets and portable gaming devices.  (Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).  Space is more abstract than location, the place is real, but sometimes space needs to imagine. LBSs utilise various features in smartphones (including GPS, and various methods of triangulating position based on proximity to cell-phone towers and wireless networks) in order to determine the location of the user in geographic space ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).With the development of social media and technology, Mobile social media and social games are also beginning to converge with other technologies, such as LBSs, that continue to redefine the uses of the mobile device. Although LBSs have been available in mobile devices since the early 1990s, it is only fairly recently that LBSs have become a feature of smartphones, and so have started to become available to people who would not otherwise have gone out to purchase a separate device such as a GPS unit ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).  For obvious reasons, the place has always played an important role in mobile media (Ito 2002; Hjorth 2005). Mobile media highlights the various, oftentacit notions of place as something that is lived and imagined, psychological and geographic (Hjorth 2012). These ‘hybrid’ spaces, as Adriana de Souza e Silva calls them, create social situations in which borders between remote and contiguous contexts no longer can be clearly defined (Gordon and de Souza e Silva 2011: 86). We have been more and more mix the real world and virtual world together and produce a certain commercial value.



In recent years, positioning and mobile media bring lots of influence on society. They are not only bringing more business opportunities but also reduce the distance from person to person in the society. We cannot underestimate the influence of Network and locative media (Farman2011). As a result of these developments,  smartphones growing popularity there has been according to a 2013 Pew Internet study, notable growth in use of location-based services, with ‘growing numbers of [US] Internet users adding a new layer of location information to their posts, and a majority of [US] smartphone owners us[ing] their phones’ location-based services’ (Zickuhr, 2013) Digital, mobile maps change how we navigate and conceptualise place.( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).  As mobile media converges with social and locative technologies, new forms and practices are emerging that are primarily focused on developing social connections. These technologies can be seen as increasingly overlaying space with digital information in order to create new places that are mediated in part by the technology itself ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013). Positioning technology used in the more and more applications, such as games, maps and social media as well as the App of the camera. LBS games like Foursquare and Jiepang highlight how the place cannot be mapped just as a geographic or physical location, but also reflects cultural, emotional and psychological dimensions ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).


Additionally, through the convergence of social, locative and mobile media we see there will some controversial problems. In LBSs we see an overlaying of place with the social and personal whereby the electronic is superimposed onto the geographic in new ways. In particular, by sharing an image and comment about a place through LBSs, users can create different ways to experience and record journeys and, in turn, impact upon how place is memorialized ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).  Secondly, the service of location in Mobile social media also can appear sometimes privacy crisis. Like Foursquare, Facebook uses Points of Interest (POIs), which are human-determined features on a map (or in a geodata set), with each element occupying a particular point. POIs, as Barreneche (2012b) notes, ‘may include name, current location, category, address, telephone, email, social media accounts, URI. (Wilken, R. 2014 ).


Case studies

  1. Along with the use of social media, such as Weibo, Facebook and WeChat. Lots of people can communicate through these social media to share their information. Like the list of Hyunjin. She waited for her friend Soohyun in a café in Shinchon, She took a few photos then quickly uploaded it, along with the caption ‘Waiting’, to a few social media sites with location-based services (LBSs) like Facebook Places and Cyworld minihompy. When her another friend see this message, nearby, then ran to find her ( Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).


These social media users through by LBS of the track of the physical space and social networking Interact with their friends, make their relationship more closely. In addition, lots of people use the WeChat. This APP has one of the function is “nearby”. People can go through it to find another person, who they don’t know and add them become a new friend.


  1. In recent years, positioning technology used in more and more applications, such as games, maps and social media, and camera applications. This has brought social media a lot of customers. As of 2010, Facebook had ‘200million people around the world [who were] actively using Facebook from a phone’, a number that had tripled from the previous year and was only likely to continue growing (Tseng, 2010). With the increasing of the customer base, which brings more beneficial economic effect. The company of social media can use these customers to increase the fee of advertisement. Additionally, the platform of social media can use the LBS to help clients to increase popularity. For example, in the Weibo, one of the features is “nearby,” People can search nearby users to share information, like food, music and some tourist attractions. Like this picture.              微博

Through this function, a lot of people can find the perimeter shops or restaurant, and there is some user evaluation under it. Friends can also comment on each other, it not only increase their communication but also can bring more convenience to the public.


3 Instagram is one of the most popular social media in recent years, which launched from 2010, now it has more than 150 million upload pictures. (Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013). Instagram can allow users to shoot, edit and add location to share photos (Hjorth & Hinton, 2013).


When a user upload photos can add the location of the photo was taken. At the same time, users can also upload pictures of location view others. Instagram forebode a new generation of visual art.  With these new applications, often working in collaboration with social and locative media, camera-phone images have been given new contexts (Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013).


Development and discussion

Through the analysis of examples and discussion, LBS is critical for social media. It not only combines the place also combines the space. It can help people expend their field of vision and can reduce the distance between their friends. In addition, this function can bring some commercial value for company of social media. Of course, LBS is also have some disadvantages. For example, the implications of Facebook embracing mobile and location are likely to be far-reaching. For those concerned about the personal data and privacy challenges posed by locative media, and Facebook’s accrual of location data coupled with its own notorious privacy track record, such developments are likely to generate considerable disquiet. (Wilken, R. 2014 ). So when people using this function, they should be careful their safe and privacy.


Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (203). Social, Locative and Mobile Media Understanding Social Media (pp. 120 – 135). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.


Wilken, R. (2014). Places Nearby: Facebook as a location-based social media platform. New Media & Society, 16(7), 1087-1103.


Farman, J. (2012). Locative Interfaces and Social Media Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media (pp. 56-75). New York: Routledge.



Assessment 3

Social Media Games

Name: Haoqi Zhao

SID: 450422845

Tutorial Time: Thursday 6pm-9pm

Tutor: Cherry Baylosis



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(Source: https://ec2-52-74-216-204.ap-southeast

At present, mobile devices have already developed the potential of other types of media like newspaper, radio, film and television. Meanwhile, portable devices such as mobile phones and handheld game devices are becoming the mediums for hearing, vision and touch (Torres & Goggin, 2014). Moreover, mobile phones provide a platform for creating a lively relationship between users and virtual worlds because it is easy to play games, surf the Internet and check social media on our mobile phones (Goggin & Hjorth, 2014). The social media also be considerably emphasised in MECO6936 class. In particular, the most interesting part of this course for me is ‘social media games’. Specifically, social media games are becoming a vital part of the general experience of social media, demanding attention. Hjorth and Hinton (2013) define social media games are the special games run by social network sites (SNS), which are an integral component of utilising SNS for many users. Social media games have been not only a source of entertainment but also a source of sociality that it would play a crucial role in building social media subscriptions when players find friends. Conversely, it also plays a pivotal role in social network sites to engage new users and provide a method for SNS users to keep and develop relationships with family and friends. Compared with the traditional computer games, social media games are played by different people with different demographics and motivations. As Juul (as cited in Hjorth & Hinton, 2013) states, the development of social media games is a casual revolution, constituting a ‘gamification’ of culture.

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During the semester, our group is going to run a campaign named bethefilter. We will proactively use social media like Facebook to engage more target audiences. As mentioned above, social media games are a part of the experience of social media and understanding social media games is significant for the students who are studying social media. Therefore, researching social media games is related to our work.

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This article will briefly demonstrate the background of social media games, critically describe the social media games and finally introduce how social media games will work in our social media campaign.


In the past western culture, media stereotypically characterised computer games as unsociable activities for socially incompetent children. Nevertheless, the development of the computer game industry in modern society has partly changed this stereotype. Besides, more people nowadays are playing a broader variety of games in unusual ways because of the emergence of casual games. As the name supposes, casual games are easy to learn and it could be played enjoyably without the high degree of attention,  therefore, it would not cost too much time. Because of that, casual games now are occupying a wider market than conventional games (Hjorth & Hinton, 2013).

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In other words, casual games not only provide an easier experience than conventional games but also offer an experience that players are more flexible to control their game time so that they are easy to accept casual games in their daily life. In short, casual games create a significant opportunity to redefine how all technologies combine worlds and bodies together to build mixture embodiments for game players (Goggin & Hjorth, 2014). As Hjorth and Hinton (2013) claim, mobile casual games are based on smartphones and app stores, and web-based casual games rely on SNS. Here, at the intersection of social media and casual games, we could see the emergence of social media games.

Social media games


图片 5(Source:

Social media gamers get contact with the game through social media like Facebook. According to Springer (2013), small business companies dedicate resources and time to social media platforms that about 70% of that spent over half networking time on SNS in 2013. They have viewed social media as one of the key forms of networking, substituting conventional offline networking models quickly. In our bethefilter campaign, we are also going to use Facebook as our main social media platform to post information and engage target audiences. Under this context, using social media games on our Facebook page’s timeline would boost page interaction and improve Facebook engagement. Social media games on our Facebook page would provide lots of fun for us and our followers, encouraging followers to comment, like and share the content thereby building community awareness around our brand. The fans or followers would be engaged and come back to our pages over and over again, they would also have more chances to know about us and our brand (McCullough, 2013).


Apart from engaging the social media followers, social media games also play a significant role in enhancing the educational experience. Gee (as cited in Parise & Crosina, 2012) contends that social media games reflect the exploratory learning cycle which could improve decision-making skills to make judgements when students face the complex situation. This learning environment also teach students to become creative like the game goals possibly ask students to make solutions, content and characters.

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Critically, although Thomas and Brown (as cited in Parise & Crosina, 2012) argue that social media games could create a participatory and engaging classroom culture and stimulate students’ curiosity and imagination, therefore forming fertile grounds for studying, this kind of teaching model is divorced from the conventional textbook-and-test education that students may face the challenge to adapt. Even more, Kalhour and Ng (2016) also argue that when social media gamers start to firstly contact with social games through social media like Facebook, most of them get addicted to the games and spend excessive time on the games so that their common daily lives are affected. But overall, these issues would be addressed because most of the social media games demand players to work in groups to solve problems under time restriction and pressure so that social media games could promote cooperation and teamwork. Teamwork in the social media games environment also reflects the growing significance of virtual work structures of higher education (Parise & Crosina, 2012). Additionally, Kalhour and Ng (2016) believe that social media game producing companies would make policies to prevent social media game players from addicting to the games, and the government could offer tax motivations for socially responsible corporations to limit money and time that gamers spend on the game.

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Social media games play a key role in engaging with the social media fans and educational experience, and carry more advantages far outweigh its disadvantages. For our bethefilter campaign, it is advisable for us to use social media games as our tactic in the rest of semester. According to McCullough (2013), we are suggested to start a game named ‘Tell the Story’ on the Facebook page to enhance our Facebook engagement. To begin with, we would create a graphic and share the first sentence like ‘there are so many fake news in social media, please be critical and filter it’ in the story and then attract more followers to participate the game to update and complete this story. Finally, we are going to post a subsequent update to show the story as it evolves. Through this way, creating a story with our fans together and involving them in the storytelling.


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To draw a conclusion, the mobile phone is embedded deeply and pervasively in the modern society, even rebuilding the world. The development of casual games and SNS lead to the emergence of social media games which build on the mobile devices and websites as a flexible artefact, founded by a large technological system (Torres & Goggin, 2014). As the games that are played in the circumstance of SNS, social media games now have attracted a large number of people, brought new users to SNS and engaged with more players both in games and social media. Social media games are social because of the social engagement that players could make connections with their friends or family online, making games more enjoyable, and the games provide interesting ways for gamers to socialise in the online environment (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013).

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Goggin, G., & Hjorth, L. (2014). Paying Attention to Angry Birds. In G. Goggin & L. Hjorth (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media (pp. 207–275).

Hjorth, L., & Hinton, S. (2013). Social Media Games. Understanding Social Media (pp. 100–119). London: SAGE.

Kalhour, M., & Ng, J. C. Y. (2016). The dark side of social media game: the addiction of social gamers. Economia e Politica Industriale , 43(2), 219-230.

McCullough, C. (2013). 4 Fun Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Parise, S., & Crosina, E. (2012). How a Mobile Social Media Game Can Enhance the Educational Experience. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(3), 209-211.

Springer, P. (2013). 3 Tips for Getting in on the Social Media Game. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Torres, C. A., & Goggin, G. (2014). Mobile social gambling: Poker’s next frontier. Mobile Media & Communication, 2(1), 94-109.




Assessment 3

User Created Content: Exploring Social Media Participation in Web 2.0

Xueyi Ma – SID 460478610

Tutorial: Thursday 12-3pm, Fiona Andreallo

Word count: 1604 words

In the era of Web 2.0, social media is growing as a participatory medium for people to get involved in online activities (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013a). Characterized by user created content (UCC), social media improves the level of democratization in user production and distribution (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). Media consumers are also producers who can make and disseminate their original content (Bird, 2011). Unlike one-way communication of mass media, social media provides free and accessible space for users to interact with each other (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013b).

To examine the extending participation and the behind motivations of participation in Web 2.0 environment, Hinton and Hjorth give an insight into the idea of UCC across social media (2013c).

Participation and Three Categories of UCC

UCC can be fallen into three categories. The first category is creative content, which is often distributed in the form of text, image, audio and video across different social network sites (SNSs) (McKenzie et al., 2012). These SNSs have common basic features such as status updates, comment thread and content-sharing, thereby establishing the participative communication amongst users (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). YouTube is a typical medium for each individual to create and distribute creative content. Take a YouTuber named Maangchi as an example. Maangchi is an amateur of Korean cuisine. She creates her YouTube channel to record her daily cooking and to share popular Korean recipes. The cooking videos uploaded by Maangchi are a kind of creative content. Unlike the traditional passive audience, Maangchi plays an active role in her user practice on YouTube. Beyond those people who are just watching videos, Maangchi takes the initiative to act as a producer, sharing her creative ideas of cooking and promoting her Korean culture capital (Bird, 2011). Under each video, YouTube offers ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons, and a free comments area. It encourages other users to create their content based on Maangchi’s video, which directs an accessible way to participate in the seeding material. It also enhances the connection between the producer and the audiences. Through the comment thread, any comment can be made and replied to publicly by any individual. It allows audiences to directly exchange their thoughts and feelings with others and helps them to find their virtual communities that share similar interests and emotion (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013b). In the open participative context, making creative content facilitates the intimacy among media users (McKenzie et al., 2012).

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 3.30.26 pm.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 3.30.56 pm.png

(Source: Screenshots from a YouTube video of Maangchi)

(Source: Screenshot of the App Uber)

WechatIMG1.pngThe second variety of UCC emphasizes small-scale tools which are developed to take advantage of the existing creative content (McKenzie et al., 2012). The app Uber is a representative small-scale tool, which is displayed for free downloading online. As an app, Uber utilizes the interface of mobile phone to establish a virtual realm of open data relevant to transportation. By allowing the location visible, Uber users can see the cabs nearby on the digital map through the mobile screen. Users can also let the drivers know where they are and track the driver’s arrival after requesting a ride via mobile devices. It builds a close interaction between the passenger and the driver through the mobility of technology. Making and accepting a ride-share request can be done anywhere at any time in Uber’s online transportation networks. Beyond the limitation of time and space, Uber shows its superiority in user participation for its technical affordance. Tying online activities to offline practices, Uber operates the authorized data sets and generates the real-time traffic information which is available to the public.

Collaborative content is the third type of UCC, which enables groups of users to contribute to a sharing creative content (McKenzie et al., 2012). The sharing content is created from crowd sourcing via open source software (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). Google Drive is a proper illustration of collaborative content. As a free accessible archive, Google Drive offers a safe online place for users to put their files and allows them to invite others to work together on any of the files. By accepting the invitation, the groups of people are enabled to edit, amend and comment on the shared document simultaneously. Different participant has a different coloured cursor in the collaboration which can reveal each individual’s input. It makes the communication straight and clear amongst editors. For example, if there is a controversial part in the file, participants can easily find out who the creator is. Then by starting a live chat on the documentation page, the rest of people can share and exchange ideas with the creator directly, thereby reaching an agreed result. It indicates that the practice of sharing creative content via social media is essentially common practice amongst various connected users (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). The collaboration helps minimize mistakes and bias, and at the same time enriches the information and knowledge contained in the created content.

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(Source: Screenshots of my Google Drive)

From the three perspectives, UCC, which relies on social media platforms, broadens the way people behave in online activities. Media users are no longer passive in the participatory environment. They can actively react to the source of news and make useful inputs for the disseminated content (Bird, 2011). This content production by consumers across social media is defined as ‘produsage’. Hinton and Hjorth think that produsage is becoming the mainstream user practice of UCC in today’s networked communication (2013d). It reinforces the level of media participation and helps online audiences recognize their belonged networks and communities in cyberspace (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013d).

Issues of UCC across Social Media Participation

Hinton and Hjorth approach UCC framework by exploring two types of produsage: citizen journalism and online activism (2013c). Although UCC brings open participation for presenting and distributing diverse ideas, knowledge and culture, there are still some issues for the creation or co-creation.

Because of the easy accessibility of social media, not only the professionals but also the amateurs are capable of reporting and disseminating news (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). It carries an inevitable question of whether the delivered information in public is authentic. Recently, there is a kind of quality issue of UCC happened on Facebook. On April 21, a man named Jerome Junior in Singapore uploaded a video of eggs he bought in a coffee shop. In his Facebook post, he said that the egg yolks were extremely stiff while the egg whites were fluid. For the strange taste of the eggs, Jerome claimed that the eggs were artificial from China and he warned the public against the man-made eggs and the coffee shop. The post was quickly replicated across the Internet, which rose heat concerns in the society for the quality of imported food especially from China (Min, 2017). However, with the investigation from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), Jerome’s reporting has been confirmed as fake news. AVA states that the eggs in the café are from Malaysia and they are not synthetic (Min, 2017). Meanwhile, China is not on the list of fresh eggs importers (Min, 2017).


 (Source: Retrieved from


(Source: Screenshot of AVA Facebook Homepage)

 The case of ‘fake eggs’ also reflects the powerful spread and wide-ranging influence of social media. As a popular tool used by activists, social media engage users in online campaigns which accords with offline realities (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). However, a problem of the online activism is that whether the core concepts are truly accepted by the audiences is hard to say (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). Because of the easy involvement across social media, people can show their support for a campaign by clicking the ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons even without a basic understanding of its core concept (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). Take the Ice Bucket Challenge as an example. It is an online campaign launched to raise people’s consciousness of the neurological disease ALS by pouring ice and water on the participant’s head (Woolf, 2016). Although performing the ice bucket challenge and uploading the video to SNSs decrease the phenomenon of slacktivism, the delivery of the fundraising idea is blurred (Woolf, 2016). Some participants paid more attention to the challenge than the campaign itself. They forgot to mention ALS in their content production and ignored the original intention of the campaign (Woolf, 2016).


(Source: Retrieved from

UCC Related to the Campaign for the Con

As referred to Hinton and Hjorth, UCC is a mirror of the user that reflects the emotion, creativity, social capital and culture background (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013c). Embraced the idea of ‘participatory’, UCC enables media users to freely deliver their message and interpret the seeding content. Therefore, how to utilise UCC to engage the target audience in the concerts is the main emphasis of our work.

Traced back to the three categories of UCC, we plan to display our seeding content in various forms including posters, meme pictures and promotion videos. For the efficient and effective delivery of information, the apps of three SNSs (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) are selected. Relying on the interface of mobile devices, the three apps can provide the specific location of the scheduled performances under the daily updates. The basic features such as hashtag, comment, are also utilized to facilitate the interaction amongst audience.

To greatly increase the participation of the potential audience, we prepare raffles as a specific UCC for the campaign. Learnt from the online activism of the ice bucket challenge, people who share a concert story with three Facebook friends can have a chance to win a free ticket. It might push the audience not be slacktivists to some extent.

In general, we design the campaign for the Con consistent with the concept of UCC. By making attractive forms of seeding content, active participation is encouraged and expected, thereby helping gain a growing recognition of the Con.


Bird, S. E. (2011). Are we all produsers now? Convergence and media audience practices. Cultural Studies25(4-5), 502-516.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013a). What is Web 2.0? Understanding Social Media (pp. 7-31). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013b). Social Network Sites. Understanding Social Media (pp. 32-54). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013c). Participation and User Created Content. Understanding Social Media (pp. 55-76). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013d). Conclusion. Understanding Social Media (pp. 136-139). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Min, C. (2017). No ‘fake eggs’ sold at Ang Mo Kio coffeeshop: AVAThe Straits Times. Retrieved 25 April 2017, from

McKenzie, P., Burkell, J., Wong, L., Whippey, C., Trosow, S., & McNally, M. (2012). User-generated online content 1: Overview, current state and context. First Monday, 17(6). doi:

Woolf, N. (2016). Remember the ice bucket challenge? It just funded an ALS breakthroughthe Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2017, from

Assessment 3

Produsers: fansub

Tutor: Kai Soh | Class: Thursday, 12pm | Author: Miki Zuo(SID 460442231)


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In 2006, Time magazine named “you” as the Person of the Year. It means that ordinary people now could have the power to control the information age. This is because the rapid development of digital technologies provide access for audiences to participate in the generation of media content. It has transformed the status of audiences as the end of information receiving in the traditional media to the “produser” in the web2.0.


Academic research on “produsers”

The notion of “produser” evolved from “prosumer” which is proposed by Toffler (1981), he used this term to describe that more passive consumers tend to provide services to others and themselves, and depending on their own interests and expertise to produce and consume. He predicts further that “prosumer” will use electronic media to find and connect with others who have the similar interests. This concept has developed to “produser” by Bruns (2006,2) to describe the participants who are users as well as producers to produce ideas in a collaborative, participatory environment, and “these produsers involve in produsage——the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement”.

Hinton and Hjorth (2013) agree with that audience in web 2.0 have become participates and they further discuss what is the delimitation of the participation in the context of online media. They explain “participation” through two aspects. One is public response such as comments on online show, another one is the audience as media producer like online celebrities who update video on YouTube.

Jenkins was one of those who support the later aspect, he (2006) argues that fans are the produsers and fan activity is “produsage”, since fans could communicate with each other about media and participate in the creation of digital content. However, about his argument that online fans could represent the way all audiences will interact with media (2007), Bird (2013) has different opinions. She points out that majority of people are not produsers, which is supported by Van Dijck (2009) who reports that 1% of media audiences are active producers of online content, 10% interact by commenting and 89% interact by viewing.

In terms of the emergence of produsers, Costello & Moore (2007) and Jenkins (2007) all agree that it could benefit audience to resist the influence of media industries who have to modify their products to response the audience demand. Jenkins also argues that it could built a kind of participatory culture related to fans sharing their opinion, communicate and collaborate with each other. Apart from entertainment, Bruns (2006) suggests that produsers could be beneficial for democracy like citizen journalists that traditional news media are more likely to open doors for citizen and share authority. However, Bird (2013) claims that it would lead to underestimate the media influence on audiences, because media industry could learn quickly about how to take the advantage of fan activities and vital media. For instance, they could corporate with online leaders of fans, and collect personal information through audience online activities for the purpose of the targeted marketing.

From my perspective, it is true that produsers could have positive effects on media practice and society development, but when everyone has microphone, it is impossible that all media content could be found, especially the voices of vulnerable groups. More importantly, media industries could privilege particular produsers to increase its control and influence of audiences. For example, the verify accounts of Sina Weibo are regarded as accounts with high credibility, and these accounts is related to their social and economic status. Compared with other ordinary accounts, they could enjoy privilege with a large number of followers, and their opinion could be easier to attract attention. There is the inequality between different groups which is relevant to real world. Some of these accounts are actually supported by media companies, who are seen as individual, indeed their activities all comply with the direction of companies. Media industries also could collaborate with these online celebrities to achieve their goals.

Some portraits of accounts with verified signs

According to Hinton and Hjorth (2013), we use the words “produsers” in order to highlight the active and participative of audience in the age of new media, in the future, which would be possibly returned to a term like ‘user’, because it is common understanding that users are also producers.

Case study: fansub

Fansub is a version of a foreign film or foreign television program which has been translated by fans who usually organized by amateur and subtitled into a language other than that of the original. These fansub groups with no formal organization and commercial motives, and they distribute their videos on the internet for audience to watch and download free.

The fansub of American and Korean series

In China, due to strict governmental media regulation, it is difficult to be accessed through legitimate channels(Tian,2011). Therefore, the demand for watching foreign films and television programs cannot be meet. It has facilitated the development of fansub groups. They produce a large number of videos for audiences by translated, subtitled and produced timely. Although, it is emerged for popular Japanese animations in the middle of 1990s, nowadays, it includes various films and television programs from different countries such as America, Thailand and Korea (Tian,2011). There are many popular and influential fansub groups in China such as FIX and RENREN.

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The logo of FIX fansub group

In this case, social media provide opportunities to connect those who have ability and interest about translation, subtitle and video producing. It could be realized because of the democratization of new media technologies that could be used by ordinary people who are not professional. At the same time, video portals provide distribution platforms for them to upgrade and diffuse. In these media environment, the consumers of media content have become media producers. They are the professional amateur whose production did not fit into ideas of either amateur production or professional production, but occupied a territory somewhere between (Leadbeater et al.,2004, cited in Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). On the other word, they are consumers of foreign media content, but also the producers of subtitled products for other audiences.

There are some disputes about fansub. Firstly, the fansub groups are the one of the representatives of produsers which has the access to media production because of new technologies. Moreover, fansub is the supplement of professional organizations that are lake of meeting the audiences’ demand.

However, Yang (2012) claims that they still controlled by media industries. It is difficult for fansub groups to develop without funding supports, some groups choose corporation with media companies or earning by advertising. More importantly, fansub is problematic due to copy right. While according to “The RPOC Copyright Law, ” produced by individual for learning without commercial motivation complies with the law, spreading on the internet publicly is infringement of copyright. In 2014, it is suspected that the sever of RENREN fansub group was sealed up by National Copyright Administration of China, and its website was closed.

Because of gradually strict regulations and laws, as well as intensified competition, it is difficult to survive for fansub groups. However, the development of fansub is in order to satisfy audience’s demand, it would exist, unless media industries could response audiences’ demand.


From passive audiences in the theories of magic bullet and Hypodermic needle to produsers in the information age, it is a great change on the role of audiences and the relationship between audiences and media. Users could be producers to express their own voice and produce content for others, as well as connection with those who have the same interests, which could diminish the influence of media industries and push them to response audiences’ demand. However, it does not mean that media influence on audiences could be ignored. It is impossible that everyone is produser, which could bring inequality between different social and economic status.


Bird, S. E. (2011). Are we all produsers now? Convergence and media audience practices. Cultural Studies, 25(4-5), 502-516.

Bruns, A. (2006). Towards produsage: Futures for user-led content production.

Costello, V., & Moore, B. (2007). Cultural outlaws an examination of audience activity and online television fandom. Television & New Media, 8(2), 124-143.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. Sage.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. NYU press.

Jenkins, H. (2007). Afterword: The future of fandom. Fandom: Identities and communities in a mediated world, 357-364.

Tian, Y. (2011). Fansub cyber culture in China.

Toffler, A., & Alvin, T. (1981). The third wave (pp. 32-33). New York: Bantam books.

Van Dijck, J. (2009). Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content. Media, culture & society, 31(1), 41-58.

Yang,M.(2012).fansub groups and the cross-country communication of Japanese animation: the paradox of audience initiative. News and communication research, 19 (5), 48-55.