This week was the week of our presentation, my group presented on the topic of Dataveillance and consumer discipline. I found this topic very interesting and enjoyed researching it. I had previously done this topic the last time i did this module, however along with a new group we found out a lot of new things that I hadn’t even considered the last time round. One of the largest of these things being the idea of surveillance and data gathering from before even birth as hospitals keep scans that are done of the baby before birth, so even before you have conscious thought you are being surveilled to some degree.
Another thing we covered was that of the recent allegations directed towards Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to do with them giving information to Cambridge Analytica which was then used to influence ad distribution for the election campaigns in America. I also personally briefly covered the issues with Standing Rock from last year that was covered in LM111 and LM113. However the more current events took precedence in my research as it was so recent some people had not even heard about it, making it a very interesting topic to cover in the presentation.
I also thought that my group this year as opposed to mine last time was a lot better, everyone put in a lot of work and there wasn’t anyone putting in more effort than others so it worked a lot better.
I think the fact that this weeks topic was so interesting made it possible to digest very easily as well, I usually find the more dry the subject matter and the more wordy it all is the longer it takes for me to get my head around. This weeks topics was one of the most interesting and easy to understand throughout the whole first year in my opinion.
During this week the key topic was that of the ‘Network Society’. The most basic things needed to make a ‘Network Society’ are essentially: People, Things, Interactivity and big/innovative ideas. However this will not take into account things failing or things evolving within the society. The key resource for power within the newly founded network society is information flow, with information comes power. Also network societies are generally capitalist, other ways of running would not work as well. Wealth, power and culture came to depend on the technological capacity of a society or individual, therefore making network societies fairly essential to the development of a society.
I found the topics we spoke about in regards to the network society within the seminar particularly interesting as we covered that of the pro gaming scene, something i am very familiar with. The part i found the most interesting was that of the Korean Starcraft scene, the players are treated as celebrities with adoring fans, very different to that of the western world. The interactivity we have through internet allows the western world to take part in this scene without even being there though through things like twitch (an online streaming service mainly to stream games and tournaments).
Another thing we covered was the idea of time within the concept of connectivity. When it comes to being online time loses its meaning in the traditional sense as things have potential to last infinitely and you are able to talk to people half way around the world without the delay of sending letters or travelling to speak to them in the traditional sense.
This weeks topic of ‘New Media technologies and social change’ was something that opened my eyes about a variety of things, not least the use of the word critical within the idea of being a consumer. In the reading from Lister he describes how when media and new technologies are constantly pushed at us for being ‘new’ and innovative we lose the curiosity and vigilance that might have come with very early technologies. It can be said that people do not seem to question anymore whether things are new, they may just either accept it without looking further into it themselves or just not care or pay attention to it. He then goes on to say that this is what it means to take a ‘critical approach’ to media. An example of this that came to mind when reading the text was that of Apple products, it seems that the public will buy into whatever ‘new’ tech that Apple is bringing forwards without actually looking into what is ‘new’ about it. It can be said that ‘new’ techs more likely just are just superficially new and actually are just a combination of multiple existing techs.
Something else i had not thought about was that political change can influence technological feats within the media industry. One of which was covered in the last reading: Power without responsibility: the press and broadcasting in Britain. It talks about the development of the internet via the need for intellectuals and universities to be able to share information during the cold war and space race in America.
Power without responsibility: the press and broadcasting in Britain – , , 2009
New media: a critical introduction – 2009
This week covered a few topics which i found particularly interesting, these included: Media convergence, Whether being ‘Offline’ was actually possible and Analogue media vs Digital media plus the pros and cons of both.
I found what was spoken about in the seminar especially engaging as the idea of never fully being ‘offline’ had never occurred to me but made perfect sense. Whether we are just doing shopping or calling a relative, there are always going to be implications on the information that is gathered by things like the telephone company or the supermarkets. Even if we are just sitting at home reading a book, ones online profile is still active and able for people to engage with therefore making it incredibly difficult to get away from.
Another part which was enlightening to me was the difference between medium, genre and delivery when talking about about a certain type of media. Being that in the case of sound the recorded sound is the medium, the genre is say radio drama and delivery would be something like CD or MP3. So in this sense the base medium will never die out, only the genre and delivery can change unless something groundbreaking occurred which enabled humans to experience sound differently which is unlikely any time soon. “History teaches us that old media never die.” (Henry. J. 2001)
I found this weeks content very easy to digest, as even though having done this module once before, this was one of the topics i missed so in reality was all new information to me. However as preciously mentioned i found it very easy to get on with and didn’t have any questions by the end of the seminar.
Jenkins, H. (2011) Convergence? I diverge, MIT Technology Review (June)
Dutton W. 2004. Social Transformation in an Information Society Rethinking Access to You and the World. pp 28-30
Miller (2011) Understanding Digital Culture. Sage: Chapter 1: Key elements of Digital Media pp 12-21
Over the length of my second semester i have felt that LM111 Media in the Networked Society has been an incredibly interesting and eye opening module. I have learnt a wide variety of things over the course of the module from how our activity on social media can impact communities and individuals to how companies and government use dataveillance and surveillance to make money and gain power/information.
Generally over the course i have been absent a fair amount, this caused detriment to my overall learning and meant i had to put in a lot more work outside of university. However the times i was present i found very beneficial to understanding the topics and enabled me to make points of much greater understanding in class and within my work on other modules. If anything i believe this module has taught me the crucial value of attendance as i have found an hour within university (in terms of how much information i retain and gain) is worth many times the amount of hours i spend on my course outside. I especially feel this will become apparent within the third year when i am having to write my dissertation on top of my regular course work and i cannot afford to be wasting my time by having to figure everything out on my own at home.
I found the presentation assessment to be an incredibly interesting and informative way for this module to be assessed and learnt. Not only did i learn a lot more about my own given topic (Surveillance and Dataveillance) I learnt a lot more about the other weeks topic as I can gain another viewpoint from my classmates findings as well as my tutors findings.
My weeks topic, surveillance and dataveillance, was a particularly interesting subject i thought. It gave me a lot of insight into some of the other topics i have covered throughout my other modules. For example I managed to link it to the Standing Rock oil line issue recently as it was an example of how Dataveillance can be used against government bodies and policing systems. Standing rock was something that i covered within LM167 in the previous semester and making links like this, using my own research and ideas showed me what i can do when bringing together my knowledge from the whole year. I also felt that the presentation (in my case as our group was put together last minute) was a good test on how quickly we can put together an informative piece of work under strict time constraints and showed me its possible for myself to do it in future modules.
One issue I had during the course of my first half semester in LM111 was that i missed a significant portion of the first few weeks due to problems in my personal life. This meant that I was a disadvantage for things like the presentation in class and for these reflections as i had not read all the readings etc. Now, however, with the help of my tutor who gave me an outline of what was needed and gave me all the necessary materials to catch up, i successfully completed the presentation and have caught up on a good portion of the readings. I am now working through Easter to complete the rest of the materials needing catching up on and am feeling positive that i will pass all my modules this semester.
This slip up has given me valuable experience and knowledge for the future and for future semesters/modules. i.e. how to organise myself better and how to avoid situations like this where i find myself fairly behind with any of my work. Overall I do not regret my experience this semester even if it has been slightly stressful as it will mean that future modules will be a lot smoother and better planned.
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