Is That…My Reflection?

When asked to pick out my best three blog posts for BCM112 and analyse them I thought, well how can I do that? They’re all so wonderful! After reading through them all I finally settled on my copyright post, “What’s in a Name?”; my clicktivism post, “Solve this problem, Facebook” and my cyberhate post, “Don’t CyberHate on Me”.

“What’s in a Name?” Focused on Shakespeare’s plagiarist history, playing on the hypothetical situation he would have found himself in if copyright was around in his time. I believe I applied copyright theory to Shakespeare in a way that is simple to understand for a broad, possibly global, audience.

I addressed the issue of copyright in a way I understood having studied Shakespeare for some years. In retrospect, I believe I could have been a lot more technical applying the copyright theory.  I could have gone more in depth with some of the topics I brought into my argument and elaborated more with my views. Overall, I believe this post is easy to understand, but I definitely could have made it more technical.

“Solve this problem, Facebook” was about the concept of clicktivism and whether it helps activist groups and movements or not.  I used the Human Rights Campaign on Facebook and the Occupy movement as examples, drawing on widely known and fairly recent causes.

I used reliable links to support my argument and included extra articles for my readers to consider. My introduction is quite bitter and I believe I could have improved it somewhat to include a wider audience.

I used a wide range of sources for this post and believe this is my best blog post so far. I supported my argument with reliable sources with altering opinions.

“Don’t CyberHate on Me” is my most recent BCM112 post and addresses the issue of cyberhate (obviously), sexism and misogyny online. Looking back on it, I believe I was quite strong with my opinion and could have stepped back from the issue to give both sides of the story. More links to outside sources would have supported my argument better and given more to the reader to consider.

I believe these posts are my best because they don’t go off topic as much as my others do and apply theories.learnt in the lectures to examples that are relevant to the topics and Convergent Media Practices as a subject.

In each of my posts I could have applied these concepts to the technology I am following for my final essay. If I had done this I may have understood each topic better.

Solve this problem, Facebook

I’m a lazy, unemployed Gen Y.  What’s going to be done about me?  I’m an epidemic!  Stop me from becoming the failure the media is so sure I’ll be!  Fellow BCM112ers, we are told every day by the media that we have nothing to look forward to, that we are held back by our own inability to get off our butts and, I dunno, study or something.  We have no real interest in the problems of the world or giving back to society.  Well, what can we do?

We could join a society or club at uni, volunteer every weekend, rescue neglected animals in our local area, like a page on Facebook, change our profile pictures… Could Facebook – the reason why nothing gets done – solve the issue of corporate greed or equality and actually change something?

efc.jpg

There is an endless list of pages on Facebook that claim to further a cause.  They’ll contribute $1 to their cause if I like their page.  They’ll send a bag of rice to Africa if I share their post.  Wow, I better like that page or all those people are going to starve.  If I ignore it I’m not interested in helping to end the suffering.  Do they really do anything to help?  Is my lazy attempt at activism causing change somewhere or would it be better for me to actually get out and do stuff to make a change?

human rights campaign FB

We’ve all seen this. Does it further the cause?

The recent Human Rights Campaign on Facebook saw many people who believe in this to change their profile pictures, clogging news feeds for over 24 hours.  It would have reached everyone one way or another (if you haven’t seen this, what rock have you been under?).  This campaign has seen the introduction of marriage equality in several US states, New Zealand and France.  Could there be a correlation between this campaign and the introduction of marriage equality?  There’s every chance that could be the case.  It is gaining momentum everywhere.  The more people behind something the more chance it has of getting airtime in the mainstream media.  Mashable recently reported about the relation between online political engagement and how that translates into “real life”.  They found that 18% of social media users surveyed in the US participated in offline political events that they had originally learnt about through social media.

What about the Occupy movement?  Reaching its peak in October 2012, 82 countries around the world participated in the movement.  The organisers used the internet as a way to reach people, rallying the 99%.  In Australia, we thought we’d put our two cents in when we also organised several Occupy movements.  Around 2000 people attended Martin Place in Sydney.  Some Reports from Australian media were less than positive about this turnout, using the argument that because Australia has one of the best economies in the world we don’t really have that much to worry about.

We can’t write clicktivism off straight away.  Spanish sociologist, Manuel Castells says “[online] movements raise awareness and embrace and encourage people”.  So why can’t we feel better because we liked a page on Facebook?  In my opinion, the more momentum a cause receives from popular media, the more chance it has of making a change.  I agree that liking a page on Facebook or changing your profile picture definitely won’t solve the problem, but there’s every chance that someone who has the ability to assist in a useful and meaningful way will help.  They always say there’s strength in numbers, if enough people are behind a cause and willing to get their hands dirty then there is no reason to why a problem can’t be solved with Facebook.

Further Reading

Dispatches from the information wars: online activism on the move – http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/29/dispatches-from-the-information-wars-online-activism-on-the-move/

South Africa: Can Online Activism Change the World – http://allafrica.com/stories/201304171268.html

Pew: Online Political Engagement Can Lead to Offline Activism – http://mashable.com/2013/04/25/pew-internet-politics-activism/

‘Slacktivism’ vs ‘snarktivism’: how do you take your online activism? – http://theconversation.com/slacktivism-vs-snarktivism-how-do-you-take-your-online-activism-13180