You didn’t think that was it for the day, did you?

No, no of course not. There is plenty more. So, reflecting on the first lecture of this module I left feeling confident at the task at hand. I have been fortunate to have done similar work before and therefore I feel I can produce a high quality outcome in both the annotated bibliography and this digital diary that we call a blog.

During another module with Ivan I had the task to look at my course title, ‘Screen Cultures’ as a study which entails the mediums we use as catalysts for the blurring of social and cultural boundaries. Word heavy I know; but bear with me. From this I chose to look at Social Media as a platform which encourages this concept. The work that I was doing was very much associated with Imagery however and I felt it would be beneficial to me to further explore this idea and with a focus on theoretical analogy and so the idea for this assignment was born, rather quickly.

During my Google travels I stumbled upon…

Figure 1. (https://www.stumbleupon.com/ - not this stumble!)

Figure 1. (https://www.stumbleupon.com/ – not this stumble!)

a paper from Tim O’Reilly and Jon Batelle – ‘Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On’. This was a revisit from a conference in 2004, five years prior where O’Reilly introduced the term ‘Web 2.0’ – the term assigned to describe a new generation of the web that is focuses on the concept that people can collaborate and share information online. Web 2.0 refers to the transition from static HTML Web pages to a dynamic, interactive environment that is more sophisticated and is based on open communication and an increase of open sharing.

Five years on O’Reilly considers how this revolution has transcended initial expectation and discusses Social media’s impact on interaction and Collaboration. O’Reilly states that

“Increasingly, the Web is the world—everything and everyone in the world casts an “information shadow,” an aura of data which, when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mind- bending implications” […]YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have demonstrated that same insight in new ways. Web 2.0 is all about harnessing collective intelligence.” (O’Reilly 2009: 4).

In the last 10 years these Social Media sites have indeed been responsible for the practise of this concept – encouraging creative participation. However It is important to recognise that O’Reilly identifies that information has to be processed intelligently as whilst there is an abundance of intelligence, there is also a vast amount of unreliable and incompetent material that is easy to digest. Often it is this type that is easiest for an individuals to find themselves presented with E.g., ‘Wikipedia’, ‘Facebook’ and ‘YouTube’. Having said this, YouTube is an environment which comprises of content that is very opinionated, and in many ways offers what could be argued as a new form of information – raw, unedited and created by the amateur. This collective depository of information therefore has to be intercepted with caution. It has to be questioned and not passively intercepted – something which could be said for all texts that are hosted online, other than those with authority.

Colin Blakemore, a neurobiologist somewhat supports this notion, that “we should be concerned about the potentially addictive, corrupting and radicalising influence of the internet.” (Blakemore, C in Naughton, J 2010). As I was looking through various material, making notes and considering the ideas about this topic I was looking into I realised that my attention was shifting onto another area of focus. After reading through some of Nicholas Carr’s book, ‘The Shallows’ (which I will discuss in my next post) I felt my attention was veering towards what he was discussing – the Internet’s ability to affect how we learn, how we intercept and make use of information and how it has in a sense transformed the way we think. As I mentioned I will be discussing Carr’s ideas and I will also look at other work concerning this topic to see where it leads me.

To reflect on my independent learning from this week’s session I am content with what I have found and also the way in which my interest has changed focus. This has been a result of my research and I feel that this is a topic which will provoke a greater sense of interest for me. Of course I realise that it is early in this module and the assignment and that my ideas could further develop however.

 

References

Naughton, J, The Guardian. (2010) The internet: is it changing the way we think? Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/15/internet-brain-neuroscience-debate [Accessed on 09/10/2014]

O’REILY, T,, Battelle, J. (2009) ‘Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five years On’. [online] Available at: http://assets.en.oreilly.com/1/event/28/web2009_websquared-whitepaper.pdf [Accessed on 09/10/2014]

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