Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Locative Mobile Social Networks

Assessment 3 – Online Article
Zixiao Liu (SID: 450287495)
Instructor: Kai Soh, Tuesday 5-8 PM


With the representation of Facebook, social media has become an essential part of everyday life. As smart phones are increasingly, though unevenly adopted around the globe, mobile media has become an important portal for both social and locative media (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Smart phones provide not only easy access to the social media sites, but also functions including global positioning system (GPS), geo-tagging and Google Maps which have become an indispensable part nowadays.

Locative mobile media therefore gains popularity by using the technology. It not only provides the convenience for social media users a chance to get acquainted with people nearby, creates new kind of intimacy, redefines the meaning of place and space, but also boosts the emergence of locative and augmented mobile gaming industry.

The emergence of location service

Since 21st century, mobile phones are becoming increasingly location-aware, technological development such as GPS and tapping has empowered the device to use and share positioning data through a faster 3G/4G network, across space and between friends. Location service has become an indispensable part of social media, embedded by most Social networking sites and instant messaging applications, it casts considerable influence on the traditional definition of location and space.


Locative media applications start to emerge around 2002, as games and assistance to artist’s project (Tuters&Varnelis, 2006). In 2003, a Japanese game Mogi gained popularity when location-based services had been integrated into cell phones in 2001 (Grajski& Kirk, cited in Southern, 2003). It was a game where players collected geographically located tokens in popular locations and also allowing them to chat with users nearby.

Except the wide application to games and art projects, location-based service is gradually embedded on most social networking sites. Facebook cautious but deliberately launched their nearby service in December, 2012, an ambitious move that enables it to serve both as a local recommendation platform but also a mobile centred advertising portal (Wilken, 2014).

Whereas, in China, WeChat was designed and launched in 2011 and gradually set the location services by promoting People Nearby and Real-time location features. These features not only encourages people to share their location within a post or share, but also providing the convenience and potential to reach out to other users within a specific distance nearby.


Humphreys (2007, 2010) argued that mobile social network ultimately change the way participants engaged with and experienced the environment, adding a sense of familiarity to the original meaning of space and place. Applications and games in recent years take advantage of the surge of location service on smartphones, and attracts users to engage in an intriguing way.

Foursquare, which is designed by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai in the late 2008, is a successful location-based social network that attracts 55 million people worldwide (About Foursquare, 2015). It combines the traditional gaming elements with the location service and coordinates various social interactions. Lefebvre (1991) demonstrated that space is understood as being socially constructed through use), by encouraging people to engage with public space to create new meanings. Therefore, foursquare has the potential to produce new understanding of place (Evens, 2014). However, there is still limitations to Foursquare, as Southern (2012) argued, it focuses majorly on the “check-in” function but neglect the journey to certain places. Locative Mobile Social Networks (LMSN), however, focus more on and in between, rather than the nodes. It is the journey, as also defined by Southern as “comobility”, that is where “both communications and sociology may benefit from artistic appropriations, interventions and experiments. (Southern, 2012)”


Proximity, Intimacy and People Nearby

LMSN has added new meanings to the notion of proximity. While nearness is related to the sense of closeness, familiarity and intimacy, distance is associated with strange and remoteness. However, the social media has changed this situation by breaking the actual geographic distance. Online social media exemplifies that social connections across vast geographical distances can be intimate. People nowadays, no matter young and old, create new forms of intimacy and different context of expressing intimacy through various technical platforms (Hinton &Hjorth, 2014).

Surprisingly though, study () shows that social interactions online often privilege relationships of lower social distance. Specifically, people would choose socially closer partners to work with even though they might not be the best choice for a partnership. When the social closeness intertwine with the geographic closeness, an application called Loopt created an alarming system which inform users when someone in their network is close to them, by notifying the distance between users and their friends online.

Online location-based applications certainly changed the traditional notion of closeness. Rather than “physical closeness which could fosters psychological closeness and mutuality” (Burgoon et al, 2002), location service creates cyber closeness through various LMSN platforms. Facebook and WeChat enables users to search and add new friends to their networks through distance-searching, while Tinder uses location service to search for friends and potential relationships nearby. Though the purposes of each platforms vary and unintentional they might be, they undoubtedly help users to build intimacy more easily.


Ingress and Pokémon Go- Locative Games

In recent years, as media follows the trends of mobilization and has become more playful by using geographic data, users increasingly interweave their everyday experience with virtual environment (Hjorth & Richardson, 2017).

Developed by Niantic, Ingress is a location-based, augmented-reality mobile game. In the game, players compete to capture and occupied the virtual portal situated in the real world locations in order to “control the world’. This game not only highlights the cultural significance of spaces but also add new meanings to it. For gamers who play Ingress, a church nearby means not simply a place where he prays, but also a valuable portal in the game.


Following the successful launch of Ingress, Niantic went on and created another location- based hybrid game by using the valuable Ingress location database. The popular game Pokémon Go has gained much attention over the first weeks of July, 2016. People from many countries downloaded the Pokémon Go application and entered an augmented reality. Users wonder around the neighborhood in search for rare Pokémon and compete with other players at the virtual gym.

Pokémon Go represents the playful turn in contemporary media culture, the omnipresence of location-based mobile media nowadays and the ongoing development of augmented media. The notion of ambient play is elaborated by Hjorth & Richardson (2014), which “mobile media create new modes of engagement that entangle attention and distraction.” Pokémon Go are undoubtedly ambient as they become a part of our daily routines, pedestrian movement and interaction with people around the neighborhood (Hjorth & Richardson, 2017).


While the game is recognized as a good experience, by connecting the virtual game with real life, encouraging users to do physical exercises and facilitating human to human interactions (Wawro, 2016). However, it is also vital to be aware of the downsides of these sorts of location-based games. It also generates debates from scholars concerning the risk, surveillance and privacy (Hjorth & Richardson, 2017). Pokémon gamers sometimes intrude into dangerous areas or private territories without permissions in order to catch rare Pokémon. Except for the risk, surveillance and privacy, locative mobile games may also cause people to generate the feelings of loneliness and inaccessibility (Bliss, 2016).

Application to our Campaign

Locative mobile media is to a certain extent helpful to our #bethefilter campaign. We ask our initial participants to take and post a photo with a banner of #bethefilter with their current locations tagged on the post. In this way, not only social media users nearby are more likely to see the post and the hash tag, but also enables us to create a map showing other potential participants that there are already many people who are from other parts of the world are into this and supports our campaign.


 Locative mobile social networking has been changing our perception of space and place by creating new orders of networks. While it create a new sense of network and intimacy, the location technologies enables the emergence of locative games which add playful elements to the notion of space and creates new interpretation of space.

It is hard to foresee what type of application and social implication which locative mobile media will creates, but critical analysis is always crucial in understanding the new technologies and its implications.


Word Count: 1423


Link to the Comment: addiction/comment-page-1/#comment-642



  • About Foursquare (2015) Available at:
  • Bliss, L. (2016, July 12). Pokémon GO has created a new kind of flâneur. The Atlantic City Lab. Retrieved from baudelaire/490796/
  • Burgoon, J. K., Bonito, J. A., Ramirez, A. J., Dunbar, N. E., Kam, K., & Fischer, J. (2002). Testing the interactivity principle: Effects of mediation, propinquity, and verbal and nonverbal modalities in interpersonal interaction. Journal of Communication, 52(3), 657- 677.
  • Hinton, S. &Hjorth, L. (2013). Social, locative and mobile media. In Understanding social media (pp. 120-135). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Hjorth, L., & Richardson, I. (2014). Gaming in social, locative and mobile media. Basingstoke, U.K: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hjorth, L., & Richardson, I. (2017). Pokémon GO: Mobile media play, place-making, and the digital wayfarer. Mobile Media & Communication, 5(1), 3-14.
  • Humphreys, L. (2010). Mobile social networks and urban public space. New Media & Society, 12(5), 763-778.

Meme makers – produsers AND cultural intermediaries

Chloe Hava – 309339650

Kai Soh, Thurs 12:00-15:00


‘Produsing’ can be a lucrative career for some. Brands have realised that user created content, and those who make it, are culturally and potentially commercially influential. Certain meme makers can be considered to have the cultural knowledge and commercial influence of ‘cultural intermediaries’.  A recent example of this notion can be seen in the #TFWGucci campaign – a collaboration between meme makers and various international artists for the ‘Les Marche des Merveilles’ watch collection. Gucci enlisted the services of meme makers such as @beigecardigan and @youvegotnomale – creator of the infamous ‘starter pack’ phenomenon – to create Instagram based memes that use the currently favoured meme terminology and imagery while promoting their products. These leading ‘produsers’, who have risen to prominence in the social media landscape, are increasingly seen to have the required cultural knowledge and strong following to be considered commercially impactful. When considering this idea, it is necessary to first discuss the development of web 2.0, social media and produsage.


Web 2.0 and participation

The development of the concept web 2.0 signified a shift in how online information is produced and consumed. Rather than referring to a technological development, the term web 2.0 describes a change in approach (Hinton and Hjorth p. 16). Where as web 1.0 had a strict producer versus user application, web 2.0 blurred these lines to allow for a participative and interactive medium (O’Reilly 2007 p. 18). It is from this new participative perspective that social media was born. Social media channels allow for various forms of participation amongst their users – from liking a post on Facebook, posting a picture on Instagram, or using a hashtag to categorize content on Twitter (Hinton and Hjorth pg. 55). An expansion on the notion of participation is when users of social media platforms become producers of content (Hinton and Hjorth pg. 55).



 Bruns describes the reciprocal nature of communication and content production specific to web 2.0 as produsage – “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement.” (Bruns 2008 p. 2). The produser creates or participates in the creation of content to be distributed through online media channels. User-led or user created content appears in many different formats and platforms in the online sphere. The collaborative online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, citizen journalist blogs, BitTorrent and the Creative Commons suite are all examples of produsage (Bruns 2007 p. 2). Bruns states that although the method and format of produsage may vary, there are four distinct characteristics that forms of produsage all share –

  • A movement from centralised producers of content to a wider participative base
  • Constantly changing roles from collaborator to user to leader
  • Content is never complete, and is always evolving
  • A permissive approach to ownership

(Bruns 2007 p. 3)

The theory of produsage is careful to move away from previous terms which indicate the role of the changing consumer, such as Toffler’s ‘prosumer.’ This theory still works on the basis that one group is responsible for the production of products to be consumed by the masses. Bruns states that produsage is a move away from this industrial production process to a space where content is continuously evolving (Bruns 2007 p. 4). The term product itself also implies a complete or finished version, as opposed to one that is regularly updated.


Social Media and Produsage

 Bruns states that the key elements of social media are community and collaboration (Bruns and Bahnisch 2009 p. 7). These inherent properties of social media platforms have led to the shift towards produsage. Social media sites promote community and collaboration in the following ways:

  • They are easy to use and encourage participation. For example, Wikipedia is branded as a site that ‘Anyone Can Edit’
  • Participation is gradual to allow users to build up a skill set for content creation
  • User communities are allowed to develop organically, and users are afforded equal opportunity to become leaders in the social media landscape
  • Content is shared and attributed to users

(Bruns and Bahnisch 2009 p. 8)



Memes are a type of user created content that usually appear in the form of an image or video with accompanying humorous text. The word meme was adapted from the Greek term ‘mimema’, which translates as ‘something imitated’ (Gil 2017). Memes are a perfect example of produsage given that:

  • Anyone can create them – the tools for production and distribution are crude and readily available
  • They are shared amongst users with creative attribution given
  • There is a constant re-interpretation and recirculation of memetic imagery and terminology

Although the material needed to create a meme is at anyone’s disposal, there are certain individuals that will emerge as the leaders of the meme making pack. In the world of social media, these individuals are awarded significant ‘cultural capital’. Increasingly, these meme makers are turning cultural capital into actual capital. For example, @thefatjewish and @fuckjerry, although both considered to be meme thieves, now make thousands of dollars in product placement fees per post (Dhillon 2017). The ability of these star meme makers to culturally connect with other users while promoting brands and products makes them not only produsers but ‘cultural intermediaries’.


Cultural Intermediaries

Pierre Bourdieu developed the term cultural intermediaries to describe the ‘new petite bourgeoisie’, or those that have cultural knowledge and work in industries of representation (Negus 2002 p. 3). Bourdieu states, “The new petite bourgeoisie comes into its own in all the occupations involving presentation and representation, and in all the institutions providing symbolic goods and services, and in cultural production and organisation which have expanded considerably in recent years” (Bourdieu 1984 p. 359). In this vein, meme makers like @youvegotnomale are considered to be cultural intermediaries, as they have carved a career out of comical cultural representation that now extends to promoting the goods and services of various brands. Matthews and Maguire argue that the term cultural intermediary is used a little loosely these days, and that in order to be truthful to the notion, this person must have a certain degree of influence, have a level of expertise and be involved in framing products or ideas (Matthews and Maguire 2012 p. 554). While not all meme makers fit into this definition, @youvegotnomale’s work for the #TFWGucci campaign is a prime example of a produser functioning as a cultural intermediary.

cult intermed-header.jpg

#TFWGucci Campaign

Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is described as having certain passion for online culture, and was looking for way to integrate authentic-looking user created content into a Gucci campaign. The #TFWGucci campaign uses the memetic terminology of ‘that feel when…’ coupled with current meme constructs, such as @youvegotnomale’s ‘starter pack’ (Colon 2017). Rather than turning to his own creative team, Michele turned to produsers like @youvegotnomale, who has cultural influence due to his large following and has a keen interest and understanding of fashion culture. @youvegotnomale framed the typical Gucci consumer behaviour through his starter pack, while simultaneously promoting their products. This therefor renders him both a produser and a cultural intermediary.



Memes are a form of produsage that anyone is able to create, however only a select few will be able to turn this form of user created content into a profitable occupation. Some of these leading meme makers will be considered knowledgably and influential enough by brands to be ambassadors, using produsage to function as cultural intermediaries.

Relevance to my campaign

For my campaign pitch to the Con, we used musical based memes in order to connect with our target audience. We developed a tactic of ‘caturday memes’ – given that memes containing cats are usually a hit. They are a simple, free and fun way to get your message across.


Word Count: 1279


  • Bruns, A. (2007). ‘produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-led Content      Creation’ in Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6. Washington DC
  •  Bruns, A. (2008). The Future is User-led: The Path towards Widespread Produsage. Fibreculture Journal (11)
  • Bruns, A. and Bahnisch, M. (2009). Social Media: Tools for User-generated Content. Volume 1 – State of the Art
  • Bruns, A. and Bahnisch, M. (2009). Social Media: Tools for User-generated Content. Volume 1 – State of the Art
  • Colon, A. (2017, March 18). These ‘Relatable’ Gucci Memes Are Hilarious. Retrieved from:
  • Dhillon, K. (2017, April 20). Here’s How Much Money You Can Make With Memes. Retrieved from:
  • Gil, P. (2017, April 17). What is a ‘Meme’? Retrieved from:
  • Hinton, S. and Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding Social Media. London: Sage
  • Maguire, J. and Matthews, J. (2012). Are we all Cultural Intermediaries now? An Introduction to Cultural Intermediaries in Context. London: Sage
  • Negus, K. (2002). ‘The work of Cultural Intermediaries and the Enduring Distance between Production and Consumption’ in The Cultural Intermediaries Reader. London: Sage
  • O’Reilly, T. (2007). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Munich Personal RePEc Archive: Paper no. 4578

Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Reduce Antipathy: User Generated Content and Advertisement Avoidance


MECO 6936 Assignment 3
Yan Zeng 460192163
Cherry Baylosis Thursday 18:00 – 21:00


The emergence of new media, such as social media platforms and video sharing websites, along with their emphasis on participation have changed the way we communicate. With the popularization of internet and mobile terminal equipment like a smart phone, we now are capable of sharing information to the whole society without limitation of time or distance. The UGC (user generated content) phenomenon then arise, users now are no longer simply consumers but also become a part of the original material as a media producer (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Due to its characteristic of second spreading, it soon attracts attention from academic researcher and advertising agency. However, the requirement of a dedication of time and other forms of capital (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013), it is not easy to arouse the enthusiasm of user to take part in generating content.

In this article, I will argue that when user’s psychological reactance degree towards advertisement reduces, they will tend to be more agreeable to generate related content of a campaign.

Advertisement Avoidance

“This is obviously a marketing campaign!”


That’s what most of the consumers will think of towards an advertisement. Why ordinary consumer dislike commercial campaign so much even when there are wrong about them? For example, when intermediaries post something ‘sponsored’ on their social media account, there will be some other users, usually, their followers accusing them of taking money for posting on comment. People dislikes this kind of behavior is not because they are illegal or unethical, but most of those commercial campaigns evoke a disgusting feeling called psychological reactance. It occurs in response to threats to perceived behavioral freedoms, some commercial campaigns take your freedom in a way you that think is unreasonable. In the intermediaries example, it will be taking your right to read posts that you truly care for. Psychological reactance towards advertisement and marketing is ‘advertisement avoidance’ (Specks & Elliot, 1997).

Scenario Task Setting

Cho & Cheon (2004) come up with a theoretical model, in which they consider ad avoidance can be caused by perceived goal impediment. When consumers are using the internet, they are usually goal-directed, and online ads might interrupt their goal. It will cause negative attitude towards the ad or even the brand it shows. Russell’s study in 2002 of the effectiveness of product placements in television shows showed that while incongruency between modalities and TV shows’ plots connection improves audience’s memory, congruency enhances persuasion.

The sudden appearance of ads usually interrupts what we are doing under a specific context, even when it is related to something we like and feel passionate too. Imagine you are concentrated on computer games, your partner comes along and put a plate of your favorited fruit in front the screen. You might still be annoyed by that since it interrupted what you are trying to achieve, which is winning the game.

img_0496         20150515162019_63840

(@Tastemade in Instagram shares cooking short videos for people to learn or just enjoy)

(A Chinese movie use leading man’s picture and tone to create an ad like a personal talk)

Therefore, in order to lower the degree of interruption, the most effective way to decrease consumer’s negative attitude towards an online campaign or advertisement, is making them more alike to what they are trying to achieve under the circumstances. That means we need to set up the campaign base on the scenario task of a consumer. For example, if we are going to run our campaign on Instagram, eye-catching short videos and fun posters will be more effective than plain words. Chinese social media application Wechat has a function called Moments, in which you can share and get access to accepted WeChat friends’ information. Under this scenario, the tones of many successful campaign and ads are like one of your friend sharing his or her personal feelings with you. In this case, users tend to pay attention to the information and respond to it. It can also explain why Ali pay always fail to build a social network within their own application, since consumer opens the app only try to manage their financial matters, at this point if a social ad jumps in, it is very possible that they will have a strong aversion towards the advertisement.

Admit Your Flaws

After conducting two experiments on the ‘overheard’ communication, Walster and Festinger (1962) raised three possible factors that “have been generally presumed to make overheard communications more effective”. Compactly saying, they are: listener’s defence is not prepared, listener is not supposed to hear it, and most importantly, speaker does not know the listener is there, which means as they are speaking, they are not intending to persuade the listener.


It is actually another reflection of psychological reactance, similarly, in a marketing campaign, if consumers get a sense that the campaign or ad is trying to manipulate their behavior, they will have a feeling that they are losing control of their own decision. To solve this problem, many ads choose not to emphasize their advantages blindly but also admit their flaws to let consumer reach their own decisions. Avis Car Rental was the second-biggest car rental company in the US in 1962, the ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach tailored a catchword for Avis based on that: “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder”. It achieved an almost instant hit, within a year, Avis went from losing $3.2 million to earning $1.2 million.

Find A Right Reason

As advertisement will reduce the sense of control of the consumer, and evoke a feeling of being interrupted, even we assimilate them as their original goal, they still exist. Therefore, a right reason for the interruption will be very necessary. There are three kinds of reason that can be offered under circumstances like this, the first one is exchanging benefit. In Wechat, there are thousands of official accounts run by individual or organization to publish articles and posts for users. For those who have credibility and influence, there will be a button down their articles for a reader to tap and complete a transaction. Sometimes to increase their revenue, authors of articles will tell their readers that they will like to be rewarded by money for writing the post. This is like a reminder for the readers, that they gain information through their posts, then they should pay the author in return.


(WeChat page will jump from left to the right one for users to select money amount after clicking the red reward button on the left one)

The second one will be related information, if an ad is designed as it includes information that will benefit the consumer and reduce the sense of disgust. Take many bank advertisements as examples, instead of dephasing bank ranking or quality of the service, they will tend to create a message like: “Hard to get a loan? Interest rate from 0.1% for $100000!” In this way, it will give them a feeling that the ad can help them in a way and make it much easier for a consumer to accept the information. Moreover, since ads are designed to interrupt consumers if we could offer an ‘it can make the world a better place’ reason, the consumer might be more tolerated to them, like those donation campaigns raised by fast food giants such as KFC and McDonald’s.



Related to #BeTheFilter

When our group tries to launch the BeTheFilter campaign on social networks, is it obvious to us that we need to produce our seeding content as what people might be happy to see at platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. After marking the scenario clear, we then decided to create a short video within 90 seconds, and as prank clips are popular on social media, we also decided to make the video towards the ‘prank’ direction. Besides adding humor into our posts to draw users attention, we also thought about how to encourage them to generate similar content for this campaign. Due to the nature of the BeTheFilter, we placed particular emphasis on ‘finding the right reason’ step, since the aim of our campaign is to stop the wide spreading of rumor and detect misinformation, which will benefit users themselves and the atmosphere of social media and the whole society.


Speck, P. S., & Elliott, M. T. (1997). Predictors of advertising avoidance in print and broadcast media. Journal of Advertising, 26(3), 61-76.

Cho, C. H., & as-, U. O. T. A. A. I. A. (2004). Why do people avoid advertising on the internet?. Journal of advertising, 33(4), 89-97.

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

Russell, C. A. (2002). Investigating the effectiveness of product placements in television shows: The role of modality and plot connection congruence on brand memory and attitude. Journal of consumer research, 29(3), 306-318.

Walster, E., & Festinger, L. (1962). The effectiveness of “overheard” persuasive communications. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 65(6), 395-402

Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

Mobile Media and Teen’s Social Media Use

Assignment 3 Online Article

Name: Qinwen Li

SID: 470083787

Tutorial Time: Thursday 9-11a.m., Ms Fiona Andreallo


As Boyd Danah (2012) wrote, it is really hard to count how many hours exactly one is online everyday within 24 hours because one could search the wikipedia while having dinner or could check Twitter when wakes up in the midnight. Not mention the Sensis Social Media Report (2015) of Australia shows that there are over 52% of Australians using Internet more than 5 times a day and 79% of Australians access the Internet daily. Surprisingly, the numbers are rising fast in 2016, especially in daily access. The problem is these online time is random and objective, which couldn’t be count in the same way as we count one’s sleep time. It gives Boyd a feeling that we are now living in an always-on lifestyle. What contributes to the blur between online and offline is obviously the Web 2.0, which is push forward by The cheap processors, cheap network and cheap sensors together. Among them, the popularity of mobile terminals like smartphones helps mobile media become one of the most significant styles of social media.

Retrieved from Sensis database:

According to Duggan and Brenner(2013), the proportion of teen’s usage online is raised rapidly through the years. The Internet play an important role in shaping their behaviors. And scholars are always interested in studying different aspects of teens and Internet. One of the perspectives that shown in our reading chooses a particular cultural phenomenon of flash mob. It requires a bunch of people gather together in a single point and disperse right after performance in public. With the help of mobile media, this kind of events could be spread quickly and accomplished easily. But flash mob isn’t the only one who get benefits, the emerging of mobile applications shows the bright future of mobile media. So in this article, I am going to talk about the teen’s social media use in mobile media.
Core Concept of Mobile Media
In the reading of Understanding Social Media, the author gives a couple of examples of how mobile media is in used of common people, including a girl joined by a friend who saw her uploading a photo in a cafe, a boy giving out a signal that he was safe after an earthquake by playing a LBS game and a grandma lived intimately with her grandsons by using Facebook. He inserts that mobile social media is a global phenomenon and happens everywhere. It is the smartphones that become an important portal for social media. It combines the feature of social interactivity and locativeness which makes mobile media both immediacy and hypermediacy. It provides users with new media experiences and preserves the functions of traditional media. For example, ABC, the news app allows you to read news in words and video anywhere and anytime.
The use of mobile media also has an effect on the improvement of mobile technology. 2G to 4G, the speed of getting access to internet and the cost of a smartphone are just the outcome of the extension of mobile media.

Case Study
I am so proud to introduce you an application in China called Alipay. It is now most popular online paying methods in China. The idea of this application is to make paying easier by several ways including scanning the QR codes and sound wave. Also, it is so aggressive that it works with any common applications that you could imagine like paying for your electricity, taxi calling and buying a movie ticket. Not mention almost all the restaurants that could be paid in Alipay. I have even seen a granny selling fruits on the street hanging a QR code of Alipay on her blanket. It brought me so many conveniences that I didn’t have to take anything with me but a smartphone generally. Thanks to its mobility, now I still couldn’t remember bring cash or credit cards with me from time to time even if I am in a different country.
What’s more, it is always improving its technology. Last year, news came that Alipay is trying to make a part of individual as another kind of QR code. If possible, one doesn’t need to bring anything when paying for a vertified tatoo on left hand would be a unique substitute of QR code or account number.

Reteive from google image:
Alipay does affect the teen’s paying habit but more importantly, it tries to shape itself as a social media. The first step is adding friends. Once you have friends in Alipay, you could chat with them, transfer money to each other and see what they consume. However, social media is far more than friends. Convergence is a great trend of Chinese application design. For example, Wechat, the most popular chatting application in China, is devoting to contacting everything in one application. It is almost succeed as a social media. Therefore, it could explain why Alipay is so eager to develop its social function. It is a good idea to enhance the hypermediacy as a mobile media but what Alipay did last year turns out to be a failure.
It starts with a new function of ‘Circle’ which allows people gather only with same interests. But this is just what other mature social platforms like Facebook or Instagram are doing. No surprise, no followers. What Alipay doesn’t expect is that Circle becomes a place for selling sex within hours after launching . One basic rule of Circle is that only given users could post. I assume it is set in order to strengthen the relationship in social groups. The other rule is only one with high credit points could comment. This one also make sense. But it unconsciously encourage the communication between young lady and rich guy in these cases. With the aid of digital technology, for the first time users find a way to break the law. And it is also teenagers that become the focus of Internet crime.

Practice and Feedback
In this class, my group is trying to improve the social media of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. My job is make the calender of post as well as the example posts. I like one of our events in Snapchat called A Day of Player which is intend to display a player’s life by posting from 8AM to 8PM. According to research and the Con staff, Snapchat is more and more popular among teenager users. They are willing to share private life with friends in Snapchat. So we thought it could be a good way to launch brand publicity in daily news. Sending several posts of player’s practice or jogging in a day makes the Con behave like a friend of audiences. Besides, we are planning to send a post in Snapchat as alarm before the concert begins. These two functions could be achieved owing to the advantages of mobile media.
Teenagers like to chasing fashion. I believe they will keep being the main users of mobile media. Today, more and more applications are designed to adapt to mobile platform, including mobile games and other remediation of old media. The convergence will grown-up and the divergence as well. Just as what we do to attract more teenagers to the Con. Social media like Facebook will shoulder more responsibility of holding more services as other accounts will link back to Facebook account. Meanwhile, functional media like Alipay or Snapchat will developed in more specific ways to play to advantages.

In all, teens are so easily influenced especially facing the fabulous digital world. There are so many temptations accessible simply by a click of their smartphones. We need to take teenagers into consideration when design a new function or events organized on mobile media. The mistakes happened in Alipay gave us a chance to think twice in teen’s use of social media.
1.Boyd Danah. (2012). Participating in the Always-On Lifestyle. In The Social Media Reader (pp. 71–76). New York University Press.
2.Sensis Social Media Report 2015. Retrieved from Sensis database:
3.Sensis Social Media Report 2016. Retrieved from Sensis database:
4.Duggan M and Brenner J (2013) The demographics of social media user–2012. Pew Research
5.Center’s Internet & American Life Project, pp. 1–14, Washington, DC.See Paul Saffo, Sensors: The Next Wave of Infotech Innovation, (last visited June 1, 2007).
6.Zittrain, J. (2008c). Meeting the Risks of Generativity: Privacy 2.0. In The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It (pp. 205–206). Yale University Press.
7.Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (203). Social, Locative and Mobile Media Understanding Social Media (pp. 120 – 135). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
8.Bolter, J.D.& Grusin, R.A. (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media (pp.3-50), Cambridge, Mass; London: MIT Press.
ALEX LINDER ( 2016, NOV 29) Alipay’s new social networking platform accidentally turns service into a ‘booty call app’. Retrieved from:



Bayarmaa Tudevrenchin – SID 460450683

KAI – Wednesday, 17pm-20pm


Today’s interconnected world the Internet is deeply embedded in our life in many ways. It is impossible to many people to imagine the life without the Internet and social media interaction.

The introduction of the second generation of World Wide Web, Web 2.0 enabled the opportunities of collaboration and sharing information to ordinary users through the Internet without difficulties.  Thanks to this breakthrough users become no more passive audiences. They express themselves actively through the User created contents and enhancing their consumption of information. This advance performs fulfillment human needs in many ways.

As Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013) defined there are two concepts such as User created and User generated contents of user participation in online communication. Both are a form of a participation while UCC is the content made by users UGC is simply forwarded content by the user made by others. However, in many other scholarly articles do not differentiate these two terms and use both alternatively. Generally speaking, UCC or UGC is all types of participation of users from comments on media publicities to whole video contents lasting for several hours. According to OECD report, Participative web: User Created Content (2007), UCC is publicly available content on the Internet which is produced outside professional practices with a certain creative effort. It demands not only creativity but also consumes time, different forms of capitals and emotion (Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. 2013). The important factor of existence and popularity of UCC relies on a virtual space where can access the content. All kinds of websites where the user can upload the contents such as blogs, wiki sites, podcasting, file sharing sites and Social networking sites are distributing UCC. Moreover, the rapid development of mobile device availability is changing the information exchange flow immensely. Users can easily transfer a variety of contents direct from their mobile and easily share and respond it.

Creators of UCC

Audiences are no longer feel themselves only as a consumer of media, they become a participant and undertake to use the advantages of two-way communication. A basic aspect of participation is response or comments to others’ contents. However, it is kind of passive form of participation comparing to today’s hugely active and response-ready communities in online. They upload videos, images, texts in social networking sites and engage more like producers. As Australian academic Burn (2008, as cited in Hinton and Hjorth, 2013) formulated the term “Produser”, which is a mix of two words production and user. As claimed by him, everybody can be a creator of UCC.

Creation and usage of UCC and Maslow’s human needs hierarchy pyramid

The motivation of creating content relates to Maslow’s human needs hierarchy in many extents. Applying Maslow’s theory of human needs, such as physiological needs, personal safety, social affiliation, self-esteem and self-actualization to information technology utilization especially in user participation is an interesting study area. Hence User participation in communication relatively young but tremendously wide subject, many aspects of this is not yet studied.

According to Gerstein.J (2014, March 12) technology provides a huge amount of confidence to engage in and meet human needs in several steps.

(Source: Addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Technology Retrieved from

Gerstein.J (2014, March 12) argued that technology cannot address very bottom or basic needs of the pyramid which is Physiological needs.

However, for other needs technology opens new opportunities and fulfillment of these needs along with brings some risks as well.

In terms of Safety needs which refer protection, security, and stability, the use of technology may provide potential dangers and harm to users and creators (Gerstein.J  2014).

The significant reason of usage social network and UCC relates to Social needs of Maslow’s  Pyramid.  Sensis Social Media 2016, Australia explores that main reason of using a social network is keep in touch with family, friend, exchange information.


(Source: Sensis Social Network Report 2016 Australia  Retrieved from

 Scholars and researchers emphasized as motivating factors of UCC that achieving a certain level of fame, popularity, and self-expression (Vickery, G., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. 2007).  This factor applies Esteem needs which refer self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility (McLeod, S. 2016).  People always look for an opportunity to express themselves in order to be valued by others. Participation is a major tool to fulfill esteem needs in both traditional and new community landscape. Producing and disseminating UCC has immense potential for flourishing rapidly one’s esteem and making popular. The unique feature of the Internet that spreads without spatiotemporal barrier makes one’s, who acting creation, worldwide popular.

Getting information, earning knowledge, having a right to know are core aspects of Cognitive needs. Filesharing and wiki websites, social media platforms which are specially designed for sharing knowledge provide opportunities to realize cognitive needs. These sites are all operated by User-generated or created contents.

Another important motivating factor to creating contents is Aesthetic needs of Maslow’s pyramid. Web 2.0 technology has enabled new ways to engage in and satisfy aesthetic needs. Many people create and distribute artistic works and others share it.

The study the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that nearly two-thirds of online teens create content at some point – from blogs to Web pages to original stories, photos, videos or other artwork they post electronically.

(Source: Marketing to millennials Social Media and Online Behavior Retrieved from

Users could create every kind of production from very simple mobile recordings with singing or dancing to highly professionalized animations or machinima and other features. Social media or UCC distributing platforms allow to set up huge fan communities who directly deal with contents.  

In the final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy Self-actualization, people want to feel themselves as a contributor for the human well-being and with peak experiences ready to “give back”. To fulfill this need users might become an activist in the internet forum, became online mentors and hosts of blogs or other participatory websites. Three of four types of UCC/UGC, defined by Hinton and Hjorth’s (2013) can apply Self-actualization needs as all promote a sense of identity. Crowdsourcing, citizen journalism, and online activism render persons’ social activities and accomplish Self-actualization needs.


The act of creation has great potential for enhancing one’s confidence and exchanging their opinion are shaping their sense identity. Technology has provided the tools and means for users to be creators of their own products rather than primarily becoming consumers which is characteristic of traditional communication behavior.   They can express themselves via blogging and social networking, sharing images make videos.  They can build their self- images and status in many ways what they want to be. The advance of information technology, precisely, Web 2.0 help us to fulfill our human needs easily than before.



Gerstein.J  (2014, March 12) Addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Technology. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media (1st ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Lenhart, A. (2008) Marketing to millennials Social Media and Online Behavior Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2016, September 16). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Sensis Social Network Report 2016 Australia (2016)  Retrieved from

Thomas, M. (2008). Blogs, Wikipedia, Second life, and beyond – By Axel Bruns. British Journal of Educational Technology,39(6), 1132-1133. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00908_3.x

 Vickery, G., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative web and user-created content: Web 2.0, Wikis and social networking. Paris: OECD.



Assessment 3 · Uncategorized

The Web of Participation

The Web of Participation

MECO6936: Social Media Communication

Cherry Thursday 3-6pm

Hannah Lynch – 430313930


With the invention of Web 2.0 came many new opportunities for participation in social media including ‘popular and accessible ways to publish texts, images, and audio and video material’ (Carpentier, 2009: 410) and providing new and expansive learning resources (Lewis, Pea and Rosen, 2010) within networks of connected users. Today, the new forms of social media allow an intricate level of connectivity that encourages ‘participation’ and ‘sharing’ (Lewis, Pea and Rosen, 2010: 352) among users and their networks that results in ‘new forms of social life’ (354). According to Lewis et al., ‘people can “see” each other’s worlds’ more than ever before, through these new social media platforms that ‘enable, structure and call upon us to enact’ (2010: 352). The structure of these platforms focuses on sharing of personal information, user generated content (UCG), user created content (UCC), educational resources and other forms of data that are provided by the users. This abundance of information and connectivity, as a result of Web 2.0, ‘placed participation on centre stage’ (Carpentier, 2009: 408).


There are many conversations about the participatory element of social media that surpasses interactivity and becomes intricate participation due to the users’ ability to not only share content, known as User Generated Content (UGC), but also create their own content, known as User Created Content (UCC). This process of sharing and creating content creates a ‘wealth of information online’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 67), that is constructed, primarily, in users’ own time. This web of creating and sharing information within users’ networks deems the audience more than consumers of social media, instead considering the ‘audience as media producer’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 64). Web 2.0 users are no longer simply passive consumers of media, but are instead, creating, shaping, sharing and influencing the information online, and in the case of Digg, which will be explored below, they are also determining what information is considered most important.


There are many benefits to the participatory focus of social media within the new form of Web 2.0 including providing ‘various forms of agency’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013) through UGC and UCC that provide the user with a certain level of control and ability to create their own meaning. The participatory nature also provides a nurturing learning environment through ‘social contexts’ and ‘collaboration’ (Lewis, Pea and Rosen, 2010: 357), as learning, according to research, is heightened within social environments that promote networks of collaborative learning. This plethora of available information, according to Lewis et al., has provided, through ‘the interactive worldwide web… the greatest learning tool in human history’ (2010: 354). While Lewis, Pea and Rosen explore the potential educational benefits of social media that create ‘powerful dynamics for learning’ (2010: 357), there are also negative factors to the participatory element of social media that hide responsibility of content, value creation and workload, through disguised power relations.


For Carpentier, this new form of online media, allows for a ‘democratization’ of media through a ‘new communicative paradigm’ (2009: 408) that gives a voice to users and strengthens their voice through their connected networks. Yet notions of new media are often diminished to a ‘reductionist discourse of novelty’ (Carpentier, 2009: 408). Carpentier depicts a novelty discourse of new media as problematic, as it allows us to ignore the participatory capacity of “old” media, creating a sense of novelty around new media that biases the potential new media and ignores the elements of mass communication remaining in social media. While Carpentier establishes the ‘socially and politically beneficial’ element of social media he highlights the need to interrogate the ‘power relations’ (2009: 417) within social media practices that are disguised under the bias and novelty surrounding the concept of participation in Web 2.0.


So what hidden power relations are at play within the new forms of social media? Along with the problematic discourse of novelty, Carpentier highlights contrasting viewpoints on the form of participation as a ‘minimalist’ or ‘maximalist’ perspective (2009: 409). Through a minimalist lens, participation is conceptualised through ‘ritual and symbolic forms’, with a heightened sense of ‘communality’, where as a maximalist perspective is considered as ‘intense forms’ of participation on behalf of ‘non-professional’ users with the aim of ‘the mediated production of meaning’ (Carpentier, 2009: 409). In other words, participation is understood as either symbolic investment or imbalanced power relation leading to the exploitation of users through their one-sided investment into the production of meaning through creating content. Many users invest their own time into creating content for online social spaces, which is elicited through the foundations of the social media sites to share and contribute. Many of these sites, for Hinton and Hjorth, ‘exist only because of the content created by their users’ (2013: 67). This content creation and circulation requires ‘creativity’ as well as ‘time, emotion and various forms of capital’ such as ‘social, cultural and sometimes economic’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 67). Users are the ones to invest time and effort into creating profiles and pages, while the sites themselves reap the social, cultural and economic benefits (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013; Carpentier, 2009).


There is no doubt that participation is a fundamental element of social media, but who is benefiting more from the ‘social labour’ of participation (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 67)? Online platforms increasingly encourage ‘methods of actively providing information about what we are doing or what we think of something’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 62), ‘inserting textual statements about what one is doing’ while also ‘tracking and subscribing to other user’s statements and allowing others to do the same’, with a huge concentration on and promotion of ‘viewing and commenting on one’s own or other’s submissions’ (Lewis, Pea and Rosen, 2010: 353). Ultimately, the sites are functioning from the information provided by the users, and their interactivity with other users and their information. Beyond the initial contribution of information, social media platforms then require a constant maintenance, involving the ongoing investment of social labour. This process of labour, through providing and updating information, and networking through such information, provides many social sites the ability to ‘make money by selling attention, and that attention is gained through users’ creative and social labour’ (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013: 67).


Digg, a social news site, provides a clear example of an organisation benefiting from the labour invested by non-professional users. Digg works through users ‘submitting links to stories they find online’ and then reviewing and voting on the stories they prefer (Lerman, 2007: 1). The stories that get the most votes or “digs” are featured on the main page of the website. Such a ‘collective decision making’ process is termed ‘wisdom of crowds’ (Lerman, 2007: 1), as it is informed directly by what the audience prefers. The structure of user’s uploading and voting allows the user to maintain agency in deciding what is given preference, but at the same time, it is the users that are putting in all the labour to discover and present the articles. In terms of Digg, in 2007 when Lerman researched the site, there was ‘well over one million registered users and more than 2,000 stories submitted daily’ (1). That’s an enormous amount of free labour that would not be expected in any other area of social life.


So where does this leave us in our search to become social media managers? Are we doomed to abuse those who we depend on? As Hinton and Hjorth (2013) point out, is it insufficient to delve into the impacts of social media or try to understand them by just signing up to a social media site and start participating. Instead a consideration of the ‘economic, political and social dimensions’ (2013: 147) of the technology and the resulting changes to society must be acknowledged. Technology and therefore social media, are entrenched into our everyday lives both symbolically and culturally, so in order to achieve a balanced and mutually beneficial relationship between the producing users and the benefiting organisations, such elements of participation and labour must be considered.





Carpentier, N. (2009) ‘Participation is Not Enough: The Conditions of Possibility of Mediated Participatory Practices’, European Journal of Communication, 24(4), pp. 407-420.


Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013) Understanding Social Media, Sage Publications, London: UK.


Lerman, K. (2007) ‘User Participation in Social Media: Digg Study’, Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conferences on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology-Workshops, pp. 255-258.


Lewis, S., Pea, R. and Rosen, J. (2010) ‘Beyond Participation to Co-Creation of Meaning: Mobile Social Media in Generative Learning Communities, Social Science Information, 49(3), pp. 351-369.