Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Personal Media Reflections

Personal Media Reflection # 1
My top Five closest friends are people that I have known for about 3 years minimum and due to the fact that I am selective when it comes to choosing people I really get close to and I think it stems from past relationships and network considering I lost all my original close friends when my family decided to move to Canada in Grade eight.  Out of my top five friends, only one of them goes to Brock University and I attended high school with all of them so they all know each other at least somewhat close. Majority of my closest friends have played on a sports team with me at some point where we built a bond or connection that allowed us to be close friends. I only have one girl in my top five closest friends but she is the first person I would go to with a confidential or personal issue because I feel comfortable enough around her to reveal my deepest thoughts.  The ICT I use the most frequent to communicate with my very close friends is my cell phone usually via black berry messenger or a direct phone call. Only one of my very close friends have twitter and neither did I until this course so Facebook is our primary social media site used to communicate between each other. Majority of my close friends are in different school or back in Mississauga except for the one that attends Brock so I don’t get to see them on a regular basis but we definitely try and make up for lost time during our summer vacations and common leisure times. The one characteristic I noticed about my five other friends that I am somewhat close to is that most of them attend Brock and that I have only known them for around a year or less, I use black berry messenger and texting on my cell phone a lot for this group and Facebook is also a key tool in building these social networks.  The top five people I listed in my acquaintances are old classmates, work peer and a professor. Email and Facebook are the most often used ICT and social media site with the people in this network. I feel like I can confide in my very close friends for advice on almost any general or personal topic; financial or physical help or just an ear to listen and help you blow some steam off.  One trend I noticed is the more time I spend with the people that are not are close in my social network the higher they climb in my rankings of friends and the friends that I am already close to yet start to build connection with other people in my social network which tends to strengthen my connectivity of my social network. I am hoping that now that I have been introduced to the twitter world that it will open up another door for my social networking.

Personal Media Reflection # 2
Social media is very common all over the world especially in North America, considering the fact that North America is the continents with the most percentage of internets users with over 78 % of the population of North America using the internet. With the mass use of the internet comes the use of twitter which one of the most popular media sites behind Facebook, personally I was very reluctant to get a twitter account until I took a social media class. I thought it was a new trend that would get old and Facebook would be enough for me but there is always a reason behind a large population trend like that. After getting a twitter account, I can honestly say I have no regrets and I can see the potential that twitter offers to the mass public. When I first created my account on twitter, I decided to follow some of my close friends who I know like to tweet regularly and then I decided to check or I like to define it ‘creep” their followers and then follow a couple people who I found interesting. The first thing that astonished me about twitter Is the copious amount of celebrities that have a twitter account, I thought it was cool that I could follow one of my child hood idols and get a slice of his personality and level of humor. One thing I came to conclude was that there will be a couple imitators or fake accounts out there because people love to impersonate famous people.  I decided to search some of the global trending topic and the topic were pretty random but not surprisingly Justin Bieber was one of them, other than the Bieber fever most of the topic were relevant using about current events like sports. I then took on the task of searching up some topic of personal interest like pro line, summer activities and new music; I found the variety of the result very interesting. Unlike regular online research of a topic; twitter shows a wide range of results from tips to definitions and stories of personal experiences which I found interesting and was able to relate to. My first official tweet was just on a trending topic of doing crazy things and I expressed that a lot of kids do crazy thing in hope of getting acceptance and gaining a popular status.  I found a lot of stuff twitter useful and interesting from sports updates to random facts or jokes and I can definitely see the potential of twitter is expanding people social network and business opportunities. With its many benefits does comes its constraints, like imitators accounts or people twitting useless or harmful information although I did find twitter to be more professional that Facebook in that sense. I think that as time goes on I will be fully diverged in the twitter world and I will try and take advantage of some of the opportunities that it present by promoting myself.

Personal Media Reflection # 3
I chose the topic of fantasy sports for a random search on Wikipedia because that is something I enjoy participating in against friends and even stranger online. The first things that caught my attention in the article was the size of the hobby summarize how fantasy sports generates around $ 3- $ 4 billion yearly and how there are over 32 million people in Canada and the United States alone that participate in fantasy baseball league. I also found the history of fantasy sports to be quite interesting from the internet boom in the mid 1990’s when two companies introduced their web sites and changed the world of fantasy sports forever. The article explains that the dot com era really fueled the boom of the fantasy baseball economy and brought the realization to the potential capital from running a fantasy sports league. The use of YouTube for fantasy tip and creation of reality TV shows based on a fantasy league was something that definitely stood out just to show the growing population becoming involved in the fantasy league life. The legal facts were hard to pass by considering that George Bush passed the Unlawful internet gambling act of 200 that declared fantasy league gambling legal as long as "prizes and awards offered to winning participants are established and made known to the participants in advance of the game or contest and their value is not determined by the number of participants or the amount of any fees paid by those participants”. I considered that part the ‘voice of the authority’.  The article first started as a random alleged topic first posted in 2001 and all that was posted was a random definition of fantasy sports saying: a fantasy sport is a game where players get points based on the statistics generated by individual players or teams of a professional sport. The article kept receiving little edits and kept getting more relevant information like more in depth definitions and examples of the popular fantasy league sports and sites used. An old edit of the article in 2007 tried to show a one line description of the history of fantasy league sports explaining how it was original called the rotisserie league. It wasn’t until 2007 that the article really started to shape up with important information about fantasy leagues. There were a lot of changes to the article surprisingly and most of the edits were grammar or spelling corrections and people taking out information that felt was unsubstantiated. The article has taken in a lot contributors to the content and there are no major sources of the same group of people but rather a large collaborative effort by many interested in the growing hobby on fantasy sports leagues. My thoughts about Wikipedia definitely changed after this article because I never really took in the amount of contributors that edit an article that we are lucky enough to reference today. Wikipedia is a great site for collective thinking in order to clarify information that will be accessible to the mass public.

Personal Media Reflection # 4
The two ‘social’ games that I decided to play via a social networking site are the Sims social and City Ville. City Ville is a Facebook game similar to Farm Ville where the purpose of the game is to develop a city by farming, constructing buildings, and collecting rent. The game lets the player become the mayor of a virtual city and oversee  the development of it , players can also visit their neighbor's city and perform up to 5 different jobs every 12 hours in order to gain good rep points. The Sims social is a Facebook extension to the Sims video games but in this version you create and personalize your character to interact and build relationships with the other Sims character of your friends. The involves your character building various skills like art, cooking, music, writing, athletic, driving and your character has to choose where to pursue the career path of a rocker, chef or artist which some can say are ideal jobs for young teens trying to earn a little extra income.  Your Sims character develop personality traits that shape his activities and what he is capable of doing like for example an insane traits allows you to talk to yourself for entertainment without losing social energy.  Your character also develops needs like hunger and social needs. The game even involves real life remakes of celebrities like Lady Gaga. In a way it does promote being social as social points are obtained by performing social interactions with other Sims. Sims encourages interaction with friends online by the socializing features of Facebook to allow players to send and receive gifts in order to finish certain quests or objects.  Player can receive special items that allow them to level up by interacting with or inviting friends to join the Sims ‘social’ world, this could be a problem for kids who don’t have a lot of friends; in result Sims has its way of generating cash from its users and you can buy the special Sims cash with real currency and its allows you to buy special items within the game.  The game present three levels of relationships you can choose to have with some, either a friend, rival or in a romance, giving kids a limited view on type of relationship that can be formed. The game does ask for mutual permission to get into certain relationship status with other characters. These ‘social’ games allow single players to have multi players interactions with strangers and friends so there are the benefits of socializing. Both games have some social constraints like the addition traits like good kisser in the Sims game order to romanticize with other characters of the opposite sex might create a false sense of reality for the player when it comes to real relationships.  All the interactions in these ‘social’ games are good in a sense that it allows kids to build social networks but it still does not include important none verbal gesture that are key in face to face communication.

Personal Media Reflection #5
The power of social media in fueling collection action is remarkable and its only seem to be gaining more world-wide reach and efficiency and #KONY2012 is a good recent example of the ability of social media to spark collective action. I personally wouldn’t have thought that just one video could make such an action but I was shocked by the viral spread of the video, I even found myself placing friendly bets to see how fast it could attain a hundred million views. I first heard of KONY 2012 through a Facebook group invitation with a link to the video on YouTube about raising awareness. I got the notification on my phone and I decided to just treat it as spam and ignore it. I didn’t have any initial concerns or care about watching the Joseph Kony video a couple hours later when I saw about ten other invitations to the same group that I decided why not check it out and see what all the fuss was about. The video itself was moving and it hard not to help but feel sympathy for the kids and what they seem to be going through and it was great incentive of raising awareness of the evil actions of Joseph Kony and I am in full support of the cause. Although there are various benefits of the social media incentive like global awareness spreading like wild fire and then being able to put pressure on the world government to take action. The social media incentive really emphasize the phrase “what can only one man do” or at least start to do with the global connectivity social media creates. The social media incentive can have its constraints though, for example I saw videos of people from Uganda speaking out on the bad image the mass population now has of their country and the Ugandan government was definitely not please with that bad media they were getting. There were even a few people saying that the joseph Kony accusations are incorrect and that all the child kidnapping terrors do not occur anymore.  Zuckerman’s offers a really critical view of the Invisible Children campaign and questions their dedication to the cause almost accusing them of having side intentions. Zuckerman recognized that Joseph Kony was a horrible human being and needed to be stopped for the national of Uganda to move forward and prosper. He also did say he was impressed with the way they conducted the campaign with all the intangibles they needed to win the hearts of all the people that came across the video. The comments that were posted at the end were more sympathetic with the Invisible Children organization, giving them credit for bringing awareness to a serious issue. Another comment which I found interesting because I heard this before is that it is just a way for the white liberal American to do something with their bleeding heart or come in with a perception with they are superior and coming to save the day.