Understanding Web 2.0

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

Junxing Li,  SID460068318

“Web 2.0” is discussed in the second chapter of the book Understanding Social Media written by Hinton and Hjorth in 2013. Tim O’Reilly, who proposed this concept in 2005, defined Web 2.0 as an attitude rather than a technology. (cited in Hinton, 2013) Web 2.0 refers to a certain level of change in user practices and the types of adopted software, and it has no difference in the architecture of internet comparing with its former generation. (Hinton, 2013) Before the concept of Web 2.0 actually came out, the expression of Web 1.0 did not exist, so the tag “2.0” attached on internet “is much more concerned with providing users with the means of producing and distributing content”, while “Web 1.0” was “all about reading or watching content” (Hinton, 2013) In addition to that, and in order to make the tag “2.0” more distinctive, the concept of “Web 3.0” has also been developed. According to Barassi and Treré (2012), users’ participation is the basic characteristic of “web 2.0”, while users’ corporation will define “Web 3.0”, new meaning will be created by users’ generated content in a new online environment.

pic 1 2.0

Hinton, the author of this particular chapter, approaches the framework of this concept through a linear logic. At the very beginning, Hinton gives out the basic structure and the topic of the chapter. Then background knowledge such as the concept of the web and the commercialisation of the web is provided. The concept of Web 1.0 is also illustrated in order to make a comparison, and give readers a better understanding of the tag “1.0” and “2.0”. Since the background information is sufficient, the definition of “Web 2.0” is given. The author provides us with not only the evolution of this concept but also a perspective of understanding it. The author further explores the concept by explaining its application in the business area, and the role it plays in creative production. According to Hinton, customers in a business are able to participate in an active manner by using Web 2.0 as a platform. In addition, Web 2.0 removes the technical barriers of creating content online. At the end of this chapter, the author comes to the conclusion that “The Web 2.0 is the more advanced, updated, better version of Web 1.0” (Hinton, 2013)

The most interesting part of the chapter is the discussion of “using or being used”. It is another concept which has a strong connection with Web 2.0. The author demonstrates that users “in the context of social media, and particularly within the construct of Web 2.0” are both using and being used. In other words, they are both controllers and controlled. On one hand, users are able to generate content to the audience of mass media, in this perspective they are controllers. Social media enables an individual to get access to information much more easily, from finding jobs to getting in touch with someone far away from him/her which certainly makes one’s life wonderful. It brings people with more possibilities. It is interesting to notice that social media is also playing its own role in politics. In some countries, governments regard social media as a way to engage their citizens more directly, while citizens are also applying to social media to make their voice heard on some issues. (Shirky, 2009, cited by Hinton, 2013)


However, on the other hand, people are also being used or under control in using social media in the Web 2.0 era. In order to join the game, a person has to create accounts for different social media platforms, and they are giving out their personal information online. The information can be collected and processed by the owner of social media platform, and be applied by some companies in marketing campaigns. Andrejevic (2011, cited by Hinton, 2013) argues that self-presentation and the narrative of personal sociality on the internet are engulfed by commercial interest. In addition, many people, especially those in their teens are highly dependent on social media, “even the idea of being without their phone or social media for a day causes great distress.” (Hinton, 2013) This may even lead to psychological problems, and these are all indications of “being controlled”.

Fuchs et al (2010) provide us with further illustration of the concept “Web 2.0”. At the very beginning, the authors note that in many situations, the term “Web 2.0” and “Social Software” are interchangeable which provide us with different perspectives of understanding them. According to Durkheimian (cited by Fuchs et al 2010), as a product of social processes, all software is social. It is a result of social relation of humans, and “it is applied and used in social systems”. In other words, social is the basic characteristic of all software applications, and their social structures are fixed. (Durkheimian, 1982, cited by Fuchs et al, 2010) The second understanding of “Social Software” and “Web 2.0” is their nature to allow human communication through their orientation on applications. To deal with groups, or to interact with people, is the purpose of the social software. (Webb 2004, cited by Fuchs et al 2010) Tönniesian, who focuses on technologies which enable the building of online community, provides us with the third perspective. Connected with virtual communities, social software and Web 2.0 gain new relevance with the rising of Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking platforms. Systems often use the concept of Social Software, in which humans communicate, interact and collaborate with each other. (Alby, 2007, cited by Fuchs et al 2010)

The concept of Web 2.0 is also related to the notion UCC (user-created content) discussed in class. Searching engines enable people to find information quickly and easily. While due to the information overload and accuracy issues, it is kind of hard for the user to get exactly what s/he wants. However, the emerge of Web 2.0 provides a unique solution which enables the users to get exactly what they want, and in both terms of information breadth and depth, the efficiency of this mechanism has been proved by Wikipedia. In this way, “such successful UCC (user-created content) aggregators are enjoying and sharpening the centralization of web traffic”. (Shim & Lee, 2009)

user creat contend pic.jpg

As for our own work in this semester, we also applied our understanding of “Web 2.0” to the social media campaign design for the University of Sydney Conservatorium. Since Web 2.0 is “concerned with providing users with the means of producing and distributing content” and its basic characteristic is users’ participation, we tried our best to get our audience involved. We hope that we truly attract our target audience and they participate in the campaign spontaneously as well as create new content, rather than sending them information in a passive way. The first activity for our campaign is location play, we brought a student who was really good at playing the piano to the hall of Wentworth Building while everyone else was focusing on their own stuff. The moment when the beautiful piano music came out, everyone in the hall was attracted. We put out our campaign hashtag and Facebook page information on the piano, the students there followed our Facebook page and our campaign initiatively. Besides location play, we also shot behind the scene video. We produced funny video, the small mistakes while the musicians were preparing. It also got likes and shares on our YouTube channel. To sum up, we tried our best to get our audience involved.



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

Christian Fuchs , Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Matthias Schafranek, Celina Raffl, Marisol Sandoval and Robert Bichler. (2010). Theoretical Foundations of the Web: Cognition, Communication, and Co-Operation Towards an Understanding of Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0. Future Internet 2010, 2, 41-59.

Barassi, V. (2012). Does Web 3.0 come after Web 2.0? Deconstructing theoretical assumptions through practice. New media & society 14(8) 1269–1285.

Shim, S & Lee, B. (2009). Internet portals’ strategic utilization of UCC and Web 2.0 Ecology. Decision Support Systems 47 (2009) 415–423.


Produsage and the Participatory Culture of Social Media and the Internet

invasion-of-participatory-culture-1-728Name – Megan Brewer (460499660)

Class and Tutor – Thursday 9am, Fiona Andreallo


Produsage and participatory culture exemplifies the ways in which social media heralds a return to the true intent and meaning of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Internet has said that his intention was always for the Internet to be a two-way flow of information, with the ability to access any information source, as well as create information content (Brake, 2014). Social media’s participatory culture has allowed for this original understanding and aim of the Internet to be realised.

Produser is a term merging the words producer and user, which discusses the idea that the user of the internet is no longer simply the audience, but has also become the creator of content (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Participatory Cultures were originally described as having low barriers to participation in expression and cultural activism, with a focus on sharing of a users own creations, and a general focus on the more experienced, passing this knowledge and skillset on to the lesser experienced (Delwiche & Henderson, 2013). It is this participatory culture that has allowed social media to exist and grow so strongly – Social media exists, and is strengthened, because of the content that is created by produsers, Social media and the internet is as much about production, as it is consumption. Produsage and the proliferation of social media networks have allowed for the Internets true intent to be reimagined, and it is through this that produsage and social networking sites have been able to connect to audiences as a whole throughout the world and through different networks. Participatory Culture and produsage really extend through all aspects of Social Media, and many of the themes and focuses of this unit. There are many effects of produsage, but does produsage and participatory culture really benefit all areas of social media?


Citizen Journalism has been strengthened by produsage and participatory culture of social media. Citizen Journalism is simply news content produced and shared by non-professionals (Wall, 2015). Social Media has created networks and platforms for everyday citizens to engage in news generating and sharing practices that have become an alternative to mainstream media.  Twitter, and live posts of incidents that are happening around us have enabled everyday citizens to break news faster than traditional media outlets are able to. This is particularly prevalent with the growing universality of mobile sharing and social media communication (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Through participative culture citizen journalism has become obviously user focused, and allowed news to happen as it unfolds, with broader networks being given access to news that they would not have previously faced. Users have become more involved in news, and as such have become more conscious of the world around them, without this involvement, sharing and production of news by users, we would be missing news and events from around the world (Wall, 2015), and the production time of news would be much slower. However, there are always issues that arise from this concept of participation and citizen journalism, namely, a lack of transparency, professional skills or protections that are inherent in traditional news coverage and production (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). Whilst the growing trend of citizen journalism is prevalent, there still remains a place for traditional news media and coverage. Social media news production operates alongside traditional news media, and not in place of it.

Social media networks, produsage and participatory culture continue to require traditional news mediums to exist in order to effectively and wholly ‘participate’, without these traditional platforms there would be little place for social media participatory culture – there would be nothing to participate in. Social media networks need to participate in the offline, or outside world, in order to function as an effective means of participatory culture.

Participatory culture in the internet and social media has allowed for the creation of a place of political and social activism, where users can freely express their own ideas and opinions online. This activism that arises from social media, goes beyond the notion of commentary as a means of expressing opinion, and extends into the realm of mobilisation and organisation around a political issue. Users are free to engage with the political and social at any level that they can, ideas can be freely presented, and users are free to engage with ideas (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013). People come together through social media to connect with each other on issues that they care about and act with a collective intelligence to more readily attack a political issue or cause in a way that could not have occurred previously.

Participatory Culture has propagated the idea that everything that a user contributes to a message, campaign, and social media platform is of importance; the barriers to freedom of expression are so low that everyone can contribute, and social connection is exhibited (Popescu, 2017). The ease and speed with which political and social activism is now approached heralds a new movement that allows all users to fight for their beliefs any way they can, no matter how small, through social media. Social media has created a way for different cultures, and users from different locations to unite in a common cause in a way they were unable to do previously. Audiences can become active, as they are able to connect with creators of information sources and campaigns more readily, giving them more access to information and activism resources. Creating a sense of unity and a common value that was previously difficult to find and create.

Continuing on from these ideas of participatory culture in citizen journalism and political activism is the increasing focus of fandom and produsage in social media. Fans are now able to bond together with a larger community to pool information, shape opinions and develop a greater self-consciousness (Bird, 2011). Audience engagement has the ability to be enhanced in order to promote the subject of their fandom, fans are able to communicate amongst themselves, but also participate in the creation of digital content (Bird, 2011). It is this engagement of participatory culture and fandom that helps develop a sense of community and belonging. Users are demanding the right to be able to participate within the culture (Van Dijck, 2009). This can be done in fan-based manners, as well as through mainstream methods, such as Wiki’s and Facebook. Wikipedia as it was traditionally created is in itself inherently a tool of produsage, where users can consume, as well as produce content. Fan Wiki’s serve as a documentation of their ‘cultural object’, as well as ‘fancraft’, detailing the intricacies of the medium of the fan (Mittell, 2013). It is these ideas of produsage that helps define the notion of community, and helps users develop as contributors to a community and in their production of content.

Through the ideas of citizen journalism, political and social activism and fandom we can see the ways which produsage and participatory culture have utilised social media to engage with users life’s, and online identity. Social Media has been able to connect with users, and audiences on a larger scale, through the participatory culture and produsage that is promoted. Produsage and participatory culture has allowed social media and the Internet to develop and grow to a medium like no other, creating communities and encouraging users to develop in both consumption and production of news, politics and fandom.



Elizabeth Bird, ‘Are we all Produsers now?’ in Cultural Studies, 25:4 (2011) 502-516.

David R. Brake, ‘Are we all online content creators now? Web 2.0 and Digital Divides’ in Journal of Computer Mediated-Communication, 19 (2014), 591-609

A Delwiche & J Henderson ed, ‘What is Participatory Culture’ in The Participatory Cultures Handbook (2013) New York, Routledge, Pg 3-9

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

Jason Mittell, ‘Wikis and Participatory Fandom’ in The Participatory Cultures Handbook (2013) New York, Routledge, Pg 35-42.

Maria Popescu, ‘Strategic Communication and Social Media in the Age of Participatory Culture’ in International Scientific Conference: Strategies XXI, (2017) Bucharest 3:43-49, Carol I, National Defence University

Josie Van Dijk, ‘Users like you? Theorizing Agency in User Generated Content’ in Media, Culture & Society (2009) 31:1, pgs 41-58.

Melissa Wall, ‘Citizen Journalism’, in Digital Journalism, (2015) 3:6, 797-813


Put Your Paws Up!

Class & Lecturer: Thurs 12:00-3:00pm, Kai Soh
Student (SID) : Jony Sun (430068410)

For those who are unaware of the phrase mentioned in the title, one may think what I’m about to write has to do with empowering social movement regarding pets or animal rights. This phrase is actually a common catchphrase used within the community of Lady Gaga fans. They called themselves “Little Monsters” and seemingly as the leader figure, Gaga is referred intimately as “Mother Monster”. These are all examples of cultural capitial and by using this relationship, this post will explore the notion of cultural capital and its multifarious facets in the context of a fan community.

(Hair (Instrumental), Lady Gaga)

Simply put, cultural capital has to do with group dynamics and the sense of belonging to a particular group or institutions. Bourdieu describes it as “the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition” (Bourdieu, pp. 248-249). There are three key concepts to take away in this definition: firstly, “culture capital” can be potentially indefinitely accumulated, which can be thought of as data accumulation of a database; secondly, such accumulation should have spanned across a period of time and hence, spontaneous groups that are formed for a temporary purpose are not considered; lastly, there should be a sense of intimacy and mutual acknowledgment within the network in question. If put into the framework of Deans’ affective network, cultural capital can be view similarly as the notion of “drive”, which is described as an “acephalous force” that keeps members of a networking from leaving it (Žižek, as quoted in Dean, p. 3). To an affective network, the interaction and engagement, specifically enjoyable ones, among members are both the source and result of the “drive” (Dean, p. 25). Similarly, cultural capital gives members of the network a “collectively-owned capital” and depending on the nature of the network, enjoyment can be derived from being entitled to its cultural capital.

Figure 1. The Fame Era (Source: http://bloodyxmary.tumblr.com)

One type of cultural capital within a fan community is the fan objects. These may range from books and publications to  media and shows and even the celebrities themselves (Sandvoss, as cited in Click, Lee, Holladay, p. 363). With its constant production of media, the entertainment industry is an apparent source for fan objects. What’s also offer is the notion of “imaginaries”, which is the result of “congealing emotions and sentiments into recognizable sounds, images, and personalities that work to maintain the intensity of emotions” (Marshall, as cited in Corona, p. 727).

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 12.55.49 pm
Figure 2. Fans dressing up for Gaga’s concerts (Source: Google)

In terms of visuals, Gaga’s “elaborate performances and sartorial experimentation” (Corona, p. 726) on various occasions, from music videos to award appearances, has produced numerous diverse styles that is then picked up by fans and used as fan objects. It is important to note that the objects themselves do not carry any connotations, instead its meaning are created through fans’ interactions with them (Sandvoss, as cited in Click, et al., p. 363). The main reason that Gaga’s aesthetics are considered as fan objects is that these visuals are often distinctively unique so they can be taken to signify and represent the fan community. Furthermore, the interaction fans have with these fan objects is visualized when they display their desire to embody and imitate these styles while attending her concerts, which has gradually become a norm within the community. Since the uses of these fan objects has led to the formation of an institutionalised practice, they are thus considered as cultural capital as they contribute to the durability of the network.

Figure 3. The Fame Monster Era (Source: http://bloodyxmary.tumblr.com)

Aside being described as the accumulation of material resources, cultural capital is also understood “socially instituted and guaranteed by the application of a common name” (Bourdieu, p. 249). In this case, this is referring to the name shared by both Gaga and her fans: monster. The term is traditionally used with a negative connotation as it invokes the notion of monstrosity, but in the context of this fan community, it has become “a positive point of identification for followers who wish to celebrate their differences and find strength through association with other monsters, including Lady Gaga” (Click, et al., p. 370). Gaga’s identity as the “Mother Monster” summarises her relationship with her fans: “she is both a maternal safe haven and an eccentric symbol drawing on the current cultural preoccupation with the monstrous” (Click, et al., p. 361). As a form of cultural capital, this sentiment is hence what members of the fan community is entitled to (Bourdieu, p. 249) when they identify with the common name “monsters”.

Figure 4. The Born This Way Era (Source: http://bloodyxmary.tumblr.com)

There is more to the “monster identity” and this links to another aspect of cultural capital: the profits of membership. The incentive and rewards of being associated as part of the network are the core features that makes membership possible in the first place (Bourdieu, p. 249). One of such profits is symbolic profits, which are derived from association (Bourdieu, p. 249). A main characteristic to the Little Monster identity is “the acceptance and endorsement of Lady Gaga’s messages of empowerment”(Click, et al., p. 368), in which her history of being bullied and messages about “appearance, gender, and sexuality have struck a chord with fans” Click, et al., p. 361) Hence, the aforementioned motherly protective role of Gaga is “based upon a shared experience of being outcasts in society” (Click, et al., p. 368), which is a status that Gaga vehemently and candidly celebrates and endorses (Corona, p. 726; Click, et al., p. 370) Therefore, the symbolic profits of this fan community is then a sense of belonging and acceptance, where Gaga “emphasizes her oddities to give shelter, support, and solidarity to her fans” (Click, et al., p. 361). The monster identity is then for those who “articulated a desire to have their worth affirmed, and to take on Lady Gaga’s strengths to overcome challenges stemming from their own difference and marginalization” (Click, et al., p. 372). This “borrowing” of strength also echoes Sandvoss’ notion that fan objects are mirrors of self-reflection. By invoking courage under the term ‘monsters”, fans are eliding “the boundaries between self and object”, ultimately making this fan object a part of themselves (Sandvoss, as cited in Click, et al., p. 363). This feeling of acknowledgement, which stems from common struggles, and Gaga’s strength are hence highlighted as the symbolic profits offered for the members of this fan community.

Figure 5. The Joanne Era (Source: http://bloodyxmary.tumblr.com)

Hinton has remarked that “it is important to acknowledge that social media contains offline modes of engagement: it is never entirely just an online phenomenon” (Hinton & Hjorth, p. 3). Although the monster identity promises such positive environment for social outcasts, it will easily fall apart and become an illusion if there’s nothing concrete to back those claims up. Cultural capital may function as a motivation for participants to become a member of the network, but it doesn’t guarantee everlasting membership. Hence, there’s a need for offline interactions so to sustain the symbolic profits brought by the community’s cultural capital. In February 2012, Gaga and her mother launched the Born This Way Foundation in a joint venture with Harvard University (Click, et al., p. 361). Its founding mission is to leverage “rigorous academic research and authentic partnerships in order to provide young people with kinder communities, improved mental health resources, and more positive environments – online and offline” (“About the Foundation”, 2016). Recently, Gaga has also appeared in a video with Prince William for the Heads Together campaign, which aims to “end stigma around mental health” and change the conversation on this issue by encouraging people to speak up about it (“About Heads Together”, 2017). By being so vocal and open about her personal struggles with mental issues in the video and in her open letter, Gaga becomes a “surrogate voice” (Grossberg, as cited in Click, et al., p. 369) for her fans that has been affected by the stigmatization of mental health issues. These offline mode of engagements thus reinforces the ideals that the monster identity encompasses and furthermore, creates more incentives to be part of the community.

Using Gaga and her fan community, ranging from Gaga’s numerous visuals, messages of acceptance and empowerment, their shared common name and her extensive offline social engagements, this post has illustrated the many aspects and functions of cultural capital. It is not simply just material and immaterial resources that are collectively-owned, it also plays a vital part in the fostering and maintaining of a network since it encompasses the incentives to attract new members and also desirable affiliations that ultimately creates and determines an identity that members voluntarily associate with.

Word Count: 1298 (excluding in-text citations and captions)


About Heads Together. (2017). Headstogether.org.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2017, from https://www.headstogether.org.uk/about-heads-together/

About the Foundation. (2016). Born This Way Foundation. Retrieved 20 April 2017, from https://bornthisway.foundation/about-the-foundation/

Click, M., Lee, H., & Holladay, H. (2013). Making Monsters: Lady Gaga, Fan Identification, and Social Media. Popular Music And Society, 36(3), 360-379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2013.798546

Corona, V. (2011). Memory, Monsters, and Lady Gaga. The Journal Of Popular Culture, 46(4), 725-744. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2011.00809.x

Dean, J. (2010). Affective Networks. Mediatropes Ejournal, 2(2), 19-44.

Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. Introduction to Social Media. Understanding Social Media, 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446270189.n1

Pierre, B. (1986). Forms of Capital. In J. Richardson, Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (1st ed., pp. 241-258). New York: Greenwood Press.


Figure 6. The Artpop Era (Source: http://bloodyxmary.tumblr.com)

On a side but related note, do have a listen to this song Princess Diana by Gaga regarding mental health.

(Click here to back to the top if the music has not finished yet and the song title again to return here)


Meme – Visualize the words

[Name: Ke Lu] [Student Id: 470315611] [Tutorial: Thursday 3 – 6pm] [Tutor: Cherry Baylosis]

Internet Memes

In the digital age, a majority of people are familiar with Internet Memes, especially those people who are active on social media platforms. They have tried to save the Memes they are interested and share it with friends and family members via social networks, then they become the transmitters. The internet and social media make Meme becomes more and more popular online, because of information spread faster and widely, as well as Millennial are well engaged. However, for some social media freshman or someone doesn’t surf the internet often, they might be confused with this internet culture and disconnected with it. Here are some examples of Internet Meme:

This term Meme was first showed in the book by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who defined it as a cultural unit that moves from one person to another (as cited in Nissenbaum and Shifman, 2017). While, over the decades, this concept has been evolved and completed as ‘Internet Memes’ , due to their way of transmission and the speed of replication (Castaño, 2013). These Memes spread from one digital page to another, and the ideas travel from mind to mind. 


In addition, an Internet Meme could be and idea, a joke, or a feeling that expressed through different forms, such as an image, a GIF, a word, a video. It always relates to the latest trends, news, political and social issues, and tend to be hilarious and attractive. People can easily and simply understand the humorous messages behind them without trying to analyze (Moreau, 2017), which caused highly shareable. Also, some people post with a Meme to express their current feeling on social networks to attract followers and friends’ attention, this also can be seen as self-represent. However, Nieesenbaum and Shifman (2015) believed there are also some underlying qualities of Internet Memes, which more than just a silly joke to make people laugh as it appears on the surface, it can be seen as a distinctive product of current digital culture. Gill (2017) concluded the concept of Internet Memes either really obvious or really deep.

The main users of Internet Memes are Millennials (aged 18 to 35). This younger demographic are hyperconnected with Social Networks and spend longer time online, they receive new knowledge quickly and happy to share. Moreover, the number of Meme users are increasing, Generation X (aged 36 to 52) and Baby Boomer (aged 53 to 71) users are going to involved in this culture and discover the entertainment fun of spreading Memes to others (Grill, 2017). In fact, these users from all demographics can participate in each Meme group that relates to their own knowledge and interests, and understand the meaning of Memes at the first time. It also associates with another concept ‘Culture Capital’, that people have more knowledge about one topic or trend they will have higher Social Capital in this group. On the contrary, same people might have low Social Capital in another Meme group that they don’t know much about.

Case Studies

People Who Share Common Interests    


If you laughed when you saw these two Memes, you definitely have watched this popular HBO Drama , which adopts from one of the best-selling book . Although there are many people following this drama and reading the book, you will still be exciting to find someone have same interests with you right?

These two characters are important in the show. The lady on the left Meme is Daenerys Targaryen, actually she is holding a dragon egg on the episode. But in the Meme, the words describe it as Avocado that I think for most people who never followed the show they might agree, and it’s just linked a popular show with our daily routines that purchasing fruit on supermarket with a serious facial expression. When you understand what it is, it’s just hilarious. Same, on the right Meme, the guy is playing an assassin that he told others he doesn’t need a name, he could be anyone to accomplished the task. But everyone knows if you go to Starbuck, the staff will ask your name and write down on the cup for you to recognize, the connection is just between the drama and everyone’s life experience.

Imaging when you see someone sharing it on their home page, then you notice this person are watching this drama just as you do, and you might going to leave a comment, and both of you can quick get into a conversation because sharing the same interests. Of course, for someone never watched it will only be confused and move away from it.

Internet Memes of Political Criticism

As Plevriti cited in Baym and Street (2013) that there is a relation between popular culture and politics, and entertainment can enhance political involvement and provides a way of understanding politics. Social networks make younger demographics start to pay attention to politics than ever before. We are not American or living in the USA, but all of us may have heard a little bit about this year’s American President election, and the two candidates Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Moreover, understand few about what were they doing during the election, this global effect seemed impossible to happen just a few decades ago.

Thanks to the Internet Memes, it reminds us the looks of Trump deeply, and most Memes about Trump are making fun of his hairstyle as well as captured his awkward face. Nevertheless, the primary purpose might be entertaining, but the underlying intention could be seen as against Trump. Because the communicate meanings and ideas are badly negative, people who made the Memes was trying to make the messages spread widely and make the president of American looks like a fool. Surely, Trump’s competitors will get beneficial from it and mock him. From another aspect, these Memes also show the liberal democracy on the internet. Publics can share any views whether good or bad. 

A Distinctive Way of Celebrities’ Self-promotion

In China, there is an absorbing Internet Meme communication culture. When we’re having a conversation with close friends online, we send Memes to each other when it is relative to the topics and straightforward express the meaning with a sense of humor. For example, when you did something wrong, you are going to apologize to a friend, send a funny apology Meme shows more sincere than just a sorry, and the person who received it might be amused and pleased, which helps to get out from the embarrassing situation. 


Sometimes, for better show the facial emotions behind the screen, internet users always use the funny Memes of celebrities. Tao is a very typical example, he is a former Chinese member of Korea K-pop boy group EXO. After he quitted from the group and went back China to continue his career, there are lots of anti-fans who dislike him, they insult him and satirize him on the internet, and screen shot his strange and ugly look from videos to make Memes. Since these funny Memes spread all over the Chinese social media platform – Weibo and WeChat, many people start to use it even they never heard about Tao, and use it to express feelings like exciting, sad, unhappy, scared, angry, etc.   

WechatIMG76Tao and his team realized this might be a chance, to  attract more attentions from publics and let them know more about him. He spoke out when the media interviewed him that he doesn’t mind people use the Memes with his face, even himself think is very interesting and laughed when he saw it, he also uses those Memes when chatting with friends. After the interview, some people think he is magnanimous, amiable and adorable, they start to pay attention to his songs and television shows, and become his fans.


The internet Memes develop for entertaining, and for internet users communicate with friends and people who shares common interests online. Also, some people use it to delivery underlying messages for their own purpose. For further development, the Memes could be a digital product for self-promotion. 


Castaño, D., C.M. (2013). Defining and characterizing the concept of Internet Meme. Revista CES Psicología, 6(2),82-104.

Gil, P. (2017, April 17). What Is a ‘Meme’? [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-meme-2483702

Moreau, E. (2017, March 14). What Are Internet Memes and Where Did They Come From? [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/what-are-internet-memes-3486448

Nissenbaum, A., & Shifman, L. (2017). Internet memes as contested cultural capital: The case of 4chan’s /b/ board. New media & society,19(4) 483–501.

Plevriti, V. (2013). Satirical User-Generated Memes as an Effective Source of Political Criticism, Extending Debate and Enhancing Civic Engagement. Retrieved from https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/theatre_s/cp/research/publications/madiss/ccps_13-14_vasiliki_plevriti.pdf

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)




Naya Li_assignment3_UCC

UCC (User Created Content)

Name: Naya Li


Tutor and tutorial day and time: Kai, Tuesday 5pm-8pm


UCC, user created content represents Web 2.0 services and is constituted by creative Internet-based material which is publicly available (Min, Yun & Woo 2012, cited in Hsu & Hsu 2008). According to Sam & Larissa, the created content involves a wide range of messages, not only creativity, but also time, emotion and a various forms of capital including social, cultural and sometimes economic. They also note that with the development of electronic equipment, ways we connected with events are experiencing great changes (cited in Ito and Okabe 2005,2006; Hjorth 2007; Mork Petersen 2008). Sam & Larissa argues that it still values, sometimes can be expanded to a wider range, even some of the information created by the users are only within the existing offline relationships. They also distinguish the differences between user generated content (UGC) and the user created content (UCC). UGC mostly refers to information that users supply about themselves on SNSs, such as personal profiles. However, UCC is the content intentionally created for expressing purpose.


Sam & Larissa present a thorough analysis and a deep understanding of UCC. First, they use the concept of ‘participation’ as the fundamental knowledge. The idea of participation in social media is reviewed and expanded on the conceptualization of audiences/users as producers to define what we mean by producer. After that, they pay all the attention directly on UCC.


The current situation of UCC is presented at the beginning. Then they explain some misunderstandings of this conception. The differences between UGC and UCC are well explained by using examples on social media. Furthermore, the authors hold a critical sight into this idea, and analyze some of the weakness exists in UCC.


After describing the big picture above, Sam & Larissa approach to the detail content of the UCC. First, they illustrate the crowd sourcing as a great example in combining user production in online environment. The online Trove service of the National Library of Australia and Wikipedia has been proposed as classical and well-known samples of crowd sourcing. After this, they move to the two practical phenomenon of UCC, citizen journalism and online activism. Both impacts and criticisms of these two phenomenon are discussed after a deep and detailed explanation about the basic conception.


During this semester, our group work related closely to UCC. Our main strategy is using online campaign to promote offline events, and the online campaign involves UCC in different ways because we believe that is an efficient method to gain more audiences both online and offline.


At the beginning of our work, we decided students aged from 18 to 25 years old and tourists both domestic and international as our target audiences with consideration related to UCC to some extent.


There are several reasons related to UCC about why we choose these two groups. Young generation are active in social media, and they post frequently which are benefit to our campaign. We intend to encourage them to create and post related content with hashtags, and I will introduce these content in the following part. When it comes to the tourists, they are a large group in Sydney. When people are traveling, they tend to share and post more pictures or videos with short descriptions. These kinds of UCC may not have great impacts on the whole internet, but it has essential effects among their existing weak relationships.


In the second part of our work, we choose Facebook, Instagram, Wechat and Twitter as our main platforms, and Meetup, Couchsurfing and Tinder as our supporting platforms. According to Sam & Larissa (cited in Burgess 2007;Mork Petersen 2008), many social media sites exist only because the content created by their users, such as Facebook. Our strategy towards these platforms is to encourage users to create content related to the Con to a largest extent and expand our audiences through this.


We came up with some activities and competitions, and some of them are closely related to the conception of UCC.


First, by creating a weekly profile of a student performing in the Lunchbreak concerts, a monthly profile of alumni and monthly engagement with alumni influencers (like the Presets), there is potential to get our message to their friends and followers, expanding on the audience through the weak links that exist between the student/influencer, their followers and the Con (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe 2007; Granovetter, 1973). Even if the content is not actually clearly created by the students or alumni, they have become a part of the content as the Con involves a large number of people. Furthermore, these content are uploaded to the internet for the purpose of being viewed by audiences, as Sam & Larissa mentioned in 2017. And we can simply define the Con as a ‘user’ to promote its identification and improve its popularity in the online community.


Second, we set up a series of activities, such as Community questions, short competitions and “Ask Me Anything (Musical)” (AMAM) to promote the Con and its concerts whilst also engaging with our audiences, encouraging UCC on the main platforms which are low threshold for participation so the target audiences are more likely to participate (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013).


For example, we encourage our audiences to recreate new opera videos following the sample uploaded by the Con, and post it online. It can be any kinds, funny, creative or professional. Also we provide free concerts tickets for the best video creators. Hjorth notes in 2011 using the example of Korea which is a country filled up with competitive atmosphere that competition can motivate users’ passion in creating content to a great extent, especially among young generations. It is a win-win UCC strategies because not only target audiences can gain attention and shape their identities, but also the Con.


During the whole process, I also came up with some new understandings of the UCC conception. There can be a wider understanding of the ‘users’. It can not only be an individual as we mostly think, but also a community, organization or any kind of group such as Con as long as they are trying to gain more attention or making profits by creating content on the internet. Furthermore, I figured out from the practice that even if UCC happened online, but it is closely related with offline activities. I found out that this kinds of relationships are useful and effective which can not be ignored, especially towards some online campaigns which only own a small group of audiences at the beginning.


From my perspective, the most interesting part of this class is that it includes many practical things, and it really needs me to have different kinds of skills to deal with these problems. And this class tells me that you really need to go to the Con, enjoy the concerts and talk with the teachers, students and audiences. Only though this way, you can have a deeper understanding of your clients. Sometimes people prefer to search online because it saves time, and they think they have known enough about the task. However, after you go there, see and feel, you will find out there is far more information for you to dig. So for me, I think these practical experience is really interesting and wealthy for me.


In the future study and life, I think it is really important to spend more time outdoors to see and feel what is happening instead of staying in front of the computer. And as a media worker, I will remember to talk to people, and know about what they want before starting my work. Dealing with people is an essential skill and I think I have make progress in this class. Furthermore, I will always keep a plan B in the future. Everything changes quickly as an amazing speed, even during this class we frequently change our content for different reasons. So it is important for a media worker to keep a plan B in case facing this constantly changing world.




Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “Friends:” social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 12(4),


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


Kim, M., Kim, W., & Moon, Y. (2012). How User-Created-Content (UCC) Service Quality Influences User Satisfaction and Behaviour (pp. 255 – 268). Wiley Online Library.


Hjorth, L. (2011). Locating the online: Creativity and user-created content in Seoul. University of Queensland, School of Journalism and Communication.