Assessment 3 · Social Media Communication

Social Media, Social Networking Sites, and Users.

By Marlesha Havea (SID: 470308462)
Tutor: Kai Soh, Wednesdays 5-8pm

Social Networking Sites and Social Media have shifted the way in which individuals, groups, communicate and engage with each other. It has also been taken up by businesses in many ways, perhaps most importantly as a vessel for marketing. The power and sheer size of this new communication sphere begs the question; Are we using Social Media or are we being used by social media? Before unpacking this question, clarification is needed regarding the difference between Social Media and Social Networking Sites, who is using them and how. For the purpose of this article we will be  using the following definitions provided by Social Media Today (Social Media Today, 2015):

Social Media: forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).

Social Networking: the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online.

So who is using them? In 2015, the United Nations reported that the world’s population was over 7.3 billion people (United Nations, 2015). According to Statista, over 2.3 billion people actively used Social Media in 2016, that’s a staggering 31% of the world’s population (Statista, 2017).

In that same year, over 79% of Australians had access to the internet and 68% of those internet users had a social media profile (Sensis, 2016). The top five Social Networking Sites in Australia are Facebook with 16 million users, YouTube with over 14 million active users, WordPress has 5.1 million users, Instagram 5 million, and Tumblr with just over 4 million (Cowling, 2017).

What does it mean to use Social Media?

An adequate answer to this question would include explorations of key concepts such as community formation, self representation, and intimate publics.

In a time where people spend almost two hours a day on Social Media, (Sensis, 2016) Social Networking Sites have become an acceptable form of establishing, maintaining, and strengthening relationships. Users are most likely to use and communicate regularly on Social Networking Sites in an attempt to strengthen their existing offline ties with friends, family and coworkers (Haythornthwaite and Wellman’s 1998). In a recent Australian study, 49% of participants said that social networking is one of the first things they check each day and this behaviour has been growing steadily since 2012 (Sensis, 2016). Just like the transition from writing letters to calling landlines to sending a text, social media is a reflection of our time and it is another platform for users to connect with their friends and family.

This American Life podcast below explores some of the reasons why people interact on social media and it’s importance to them.

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/573/status-update

At its most fundamental level, Social Networking Sites allow users to create some kind of online presence and articulate that with others (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). It’s now a place where people can express themselves freely wherever they are, in any way they want, and whenever they want. Users also have the power to create their own online identity and carefully curate the self image they portray to others. Someone can choose to represent themselves authentically online or invent an entirely different persona. This is typified by the MTV Show Catfish which investigates online dating.

Social Media platforms have also played a vital role in recent, largely offline, social movements such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street. Individuals from across the world are able to connect with others who share similar views on social and political issues, and create genuine bonds through their shared passion. Community formation through social media, particularly for the Black Lives Matter revolutionary civil-rights movement, allowed individuals from all across the world to bond over their collective disgust at racial inequalities as well as their common goal to correct institutional racism. Through the power of organised protests and social media, people were forced to acknowledge the inequality, racism and abuse African Americans face. The sharing of stories and footage using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media sparked national and international attention. The online movement empowered people from all across the world to stand in solidarity and show their support, organising extra-institutional protests in major cities.

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Are we Being Used by Social Media?

When thinking about whether or not we’re being used by social media, the concept of digital marketing needs updating to incorporate the intricacies of online algorithms and the potential issues of only being shown information on our feed that we ‘like’.

The Facebook algorithm is complex both technically and philosophically. It allows users to grow and personalise it based on what they like, click, read, and watch. This personalisation creates a unique content bubble also known as the filter bubble for all of it’s 1.86 billion active users (Facebook, 2017). This means there is effectively a limiting of information, thoughts, and content that the algorithm determines you may not like. However, this also limits potentially new information that could challenge or broaden your worldview. For example, if during the US Presidential election of last year, your political views and therefore your engagement with content fell in line with Donald Trump, Facebook’s algorithm recognises this and reduces the number of pro Hillary Clinton posts in your feed. This further complicates the process of differentiating between genuine media generated news and the now infamous ‘fake news’. Users who express their views through active participation on social media run the risk of being left only talking to likeminded people, sharing the same content, and living their online lives inside their own personalised, algorithmic, filter bubble.

Relying on this same type of algorithms, social media is now another sphere within which we are marketed to. In 10 years, active Social Media users have grown increased from 970 million to 2.14 billion (Statista, 2017). This 45% growth has meant that marketers cannot ignore the power that online communities possess, as fertile space for their content, messaging, and products. Facebook allows businesses to target specific posts to their desired audience by using paid functions that identify users gender, age, location, workplace, relationship status, interests, and more. Unbeknownst to most users, Social Networking Sites are utilised as marketing tools for business in the same way that TV ads, radio promos, and print covers have for generations. These online platforms utilise user information to generate profit from digital marketers. This new form of business through digital marketing combined with the potential for filter bubbles presents a potential dilemma for the modern consumer around the very nature of their online activity.

Eli Pariser gives a great Ted Talk about his understanding of the ‘Filter Bubble’:

So what does all of this mean?

It’s clear that there needs to be more transparency with digital marketing and further education about filter bubbles. Although the information exists it’s not easily accessible. Facebook is becoming one of the most popular sources of news for young people (Media Insight, 2015) and Digital Influencers are the new trendsetters of the 21st century. However, as long as the internet is open source, with unrestricted access, users are able to do their own research, to fact check, and can construct their own meaning from the wealth of information that exists online.

Taking into consideration the privacy concerns, seamless digital marketing, the filter bubble, community formation through social media, and self representation, (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013) presents a strong case that Social Media is fundamentally a participative medium. Without user participation it loses its lifeblood and purpose. Whether people participating online are using Social Media for their own ends, or whether they are generating data for digital marketers, users ultimately have the choice to opt in and/or out of these platforms. So long as the user maintains their autonomy over this choice, the power lies in their hands as users of social media.

For example, in a 2015 study 32% of Australian internet users reported that they never use social media and 12% said that was because of Security or privacy concerns (Sensis, 2016). Social media depends on user participation and would cease to exist without it. At face value this places users in charge of this power dynamic, however with invisible algorithms and constant changes to data storage and privacy settings, users must be by-and-large self-informed and reminded of their agency.

References

Ad Week. (2015). Survey: Many Users Never Read Social Networking Terms of Service Agreements. [online] Available at: http://www.adweek.com/digital/survey-many-users-never-read-social-networking-terms-of-service-agreements/ [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].

Baym, N. (2012). Fans or Friends? Seeing Social Media Audiences as Musicians Do. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 9(2), 286 – 316.

Cowling, D. (2017). Social Media Statistics Australia. [online] Social Media News. Available at: https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-january-2017/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Dijck, J. v. (2013). Facebook and the Imperative of Sharing The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Facebook. (2017). Company Info | Facebook Newsroom. [online] Available at: https://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/ [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

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

Instagram. (2017). 700 million. [online] Available at: https://instagram-press.com/blog/2017/04/26/700-million/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2017].

Media Insight. (2015). How Millennials Get News: Inside the Habits of America’s First Digital Generation. [online] Available at: http://www.mediainsight.org/PDFs/Millennials/Millennials%20Report%20FINAL.pdf [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

Sensis. (2016). Sensis Social Media Report 2016. [online] Available at: https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].

Snapchat. (2017). Ads • Snapchat. [online] Available at: https://www.snapchat.com/ads [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

Social Media Today. (2015). 5 Biggest Differences between Social Media and Social Networking. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/peteschauer/2015-06-28/5-biggest-differences-between-social-media-and-social [Accessed 26 Apr. 2017].

Statista. (2017). Global daily social media usage. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/433871/daily-social-media-usage-worldwide/ [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].

Statista. (2017). Number of worldwide social network users. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/ [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

Twitter. (2017). About Us. [online] Available at: https://about.twitter.com/company [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

United Nations. (2015). World Population Prospects. [online] Available at: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/Key_Findings_WPP_2015.pdf [Accessed 21 Apr. 2017].

We Are Social Australia. (2016). TRENDS REPORT: JUNE 2016 – We Are Social Australia. [online] Available at: http://wearesocial.com/au/blog/2016/07/australia-digital-trends-report-june-2016 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

YouTube. (2017). Statistics – YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].

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Assessment 3 · Online Communities

Facebook Communities

By: Malinda Hadiwidjojo 460288581
Lecture: Fiona Andreallo, Thursday 12-3pm

In this essay, we will lightly touch on the explanation behind online communities, before looking at three examples to attest how distinctive these communities can be. Furthermore, we will elaborate the rules and guidelines online.

In their book, Hinton and Hjorth (2013) stated that Howard Rheingold popularised the idea of virtual communities back in 1993. His book mentioned that online communities were seen as escapism from the real world – a social isolation – but many saw its potential to be a new space for social interaction. A research conducted by Preece et al. (2003) discussed that over the years, the amount of users in online communities increased tremendously. They mentioned that ‘the internet provides virtual “third places” that allow people to hang out and engange in activities with others’.

Just like in the offline world there are countless of different communities available online, catered to each interest and serving various purposes accordingly, which brings us to the next part: examples of Facebook communities.

Catspotting

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Figure 1 Catspotting group on Facebook

Catspotting is a closed group on Facebook where members can share cats that they encountered in unexpected places, or ‘catspot’ as they call it. It is unclear when it started but as of today, the group has nearly 93,000 members globally, all sharing a common interest: cats.

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Figure 2 Post by member Jordan Schuelzke

Due to its growing audience and interest around it, the group has branched out onto Instagram where they post the best catspots, now with over 1,900 followers and a post count hitting almost 500.

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Figure 3 Catspotting’s Instagram page (@officialcatspotting)

Although the group is specifically for catspots, it is not uncommon for some members to ask questions about cats when they do not know where to go, for instance on how to take care of a stray kitten that they just rescued and are planning to keep. With so many passionate cat lovers, experienced owners, and vets within the group, it is rare for these questions to go unnoticed and ignored – everyone provides answers and guidelines to someone who needs it. Unfortunately, an example of this situation cannot be provided since similar posts have been buried under the multiple posts that have been shared.

Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group (JFDG)

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Figure 4 JFDG group on Facebook

In a country where feminism is still considered taboo by many due to rising conservatism in the majority of the population alongside the society’s strong patriarchal mindset (Sidarto 2017), JFDG was created as a safe space where its members can discuss and share feminist issues. As of today, the closed group has 1,800 members based in and/or from Jakarta that makes it a more local community compared to Catspotting. Some members knew each other offline whereas many became friends through this group.

Members participate in the exchange by sharing articles, videos, images, Facebook posts, and so on, which can spark discussion within the group. With this group’s purpose, users can speak their mind and debate healthily; something that can be difficult to execute in random internet spaces where the possibility of not being taken seriously by ‘trolls’ is high.

Their interaction is not limited to within the internet – it is not uncommon for them to conduct events such as meet-ups and book clubs where members can get together in real life.

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Figure 5 A list of their past events

what if phones, but too much

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Figure 6 what if phones, but too much group on Facebook

This group was created under a much lighter intention than JFDG that is sharing images that shun technology, particularly phones (although computers and social media are also acceptable), which they find funny. Sometimes they post satirical memes as well. At the moment, the group almost has 14,500 members.

Unlike the previous Facebook communities, there is not much discussion going on in this group because they simply bond over technology-hating memes. From observation, there are two main reasons why the members find humour in these posts:

  1. Irony – the people behind the illustrations and memes share their post in social media, complaining about social media and smartphones, through their smartphones (or other devices they may utilise).
  2. Technology will never stop growing no matter how hard humans try, but many are still stuck in the idea that their generation is the best due to the lack of internet use they were exposed to when they were younger, hence the technology-hating memes.
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Figure 7 A meme shared by member Zane Raptor Zepik

Though these communities serve vastly distinctive purposes, they are established because of the same reason: common interest, similar to how communities in real life are formed. In these groups, it does not matter if a member would like to remain anonymous – it is not unusual for someone to create a fake Facebook or social media profile without intending to scam others, but simply to preserve their privacy – but rules and community guidelines still apply, just like in the offline world, although it is clearly stated unlike in real life where it is merely assumed.

In their book ‘Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design’, Kraut et al. (2012) mentioned that there are four elements that regulate online behaviour, which are laws, norms, markets, and technology. They also stated that when an off-topic conversation arises, people are less likely to insist to talk about it in its original post when it is redirected to a more appropriate forum. In Catspotting’s case, when someone posts their own cat, administrators or other members often point them to another relevant group after reminding them of the rules.

When members violate these rules and sometimes even upset others in the process, administrators of the group remind the person of the rules and disable comments for the inappropriate post, or even deleting it. This proves that even online, there are consequences to an action that should be taken seriously.

Application to social media project

The idea of how virtual communities bring people together (online and offline) was applied to our social media project where we aimed to attract a younger audience to attend the Greenway Series at the Con.

Our strategies revolved around how to create more user engagement across the Con’s social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube), which included sharing of tasteful images and funny memes, directly interacting with audience by replying to their comments, using open-ended questions to spark a discussion, and implementing hashtags to generate more exposure.

When the strategies are successfully executed, a community is formed, thus more people go to the Greenway Series. Although the goal of the project is achieved, there is no reason to terminate the strategies because it is important to maintain the objective.

References

Hinton, Sam, & Hjorth, Larissa. (2013). Social Network Sites Understanding Social Media (pp. 32 – 54). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Kraut, Robert E., Kiesler, Sara, Resnick, Paul. (2012). Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Preece, Jenny, Maloney-Krichmar, Diane, Abras, Chadia. (2003) History and emergence of online communities. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.118.244&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Sidarto, Linawati. (2017) ‘Feminism in Indonesia is under siege by Muslim conservatives’. The Jakarta Post. http://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2017/03/08/feminism-in-indonesia-under-siege-by-muslim-conservatives.html

Uncategorized

Meme makers – produsers AND cultural intermediaries

Chloe Hava – 309339650

Kai Soh, Thurs 12:00-15:00

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‘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.

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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).

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Produsage

 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.

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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)

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Memes

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’.

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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.

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#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.

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Conclusion

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.

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Word Count: 1279

References

  • 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: http://www.refinery29.com/2017/03/145831/gucci-funny-meme-campaign
  • Dhillon, K. (2017, April 20). Here’s How Much Money You Can Make With Memes. Retrieved from: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/04/20/how-to-make-money-with-memes/
  • Gil, P. (2017, April 17). What is a ‘Meme’? Retrieved from: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-a-meme-2483702
  • 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

4-ways-people-say-no-to-ads1

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

Introduction

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!”

wersm-instagram-ads-case-studies

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.

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(@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.

avis

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.

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(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.

donation_box_header

charity-banner

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.

Reference:

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

1

Introduction
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: https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2015.pdf
https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF

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: http://chuansong.me/n/1584061252146
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.

Conclusion
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.
Reference
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: https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2015.pdf
3.Sensis Social Media Report 2016. Retrieved from Sensis database: https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/Sensis_Social_Media_Report_2016.PDF
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, http://www.saffo.com/essays/sensors.php (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: http://shanghaiist.com/2016/11/29/alipay_brothel.php

Uncategorized

UCC AND MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF HUMAN NEEDS

Bayarmaa Tudevrenchin – SID 460450683

KAI – Wednesday, 17pm-20pm

Introduction

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 https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/addressing-maslows-hierachy-of-needs-with-technology/)

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 https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/SensisSocial_Media_Report_2016.PDF)

 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 http://trends.e-strategy.com/)

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaEw7DzJl1M  

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.

 Conclusion

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.

 

REFERENCE LIST

Gerstein.J  (2014, March 12) Addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Technology. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from  https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/addressing-maslows-hierachy-of-needs-with-technology/

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 http://trends.e-strategy.com/)

McLeod, S. (2016, September 16). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Sensis Social Network Report 2016 Australia (2016)  Retrieved from https://www.sensis.com.au/asset/PDFdirectory/SensisSocial_Media_Report_2016.PDF

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.