Welcome back Faith

Well, hello (:

Seeing that this blog has been pretty stagnant for almost a year, I’m going to shake things up a bit here.

I’ve just started the semester 2 weeks ago I’d thought I’ll jot down stuff that I find interesting in my day to day adventures. (Well, not adventure per se. I lead a pretty …mundane life.) For starters, it’s my final semester in uni. Yay!

This shall be some sort of time capsule where I can look back in maybe 20 years on how I saw the world through the eyes of a 20-plus year old Faith.

Perfect example. My old blog in my links at situated at the sidebar. Can’t believe I was such a whinger back in my secondary/poly days.

So…watch this space for updates on anything funny, insightful or just plain whacky. (Although I don’t think anyone really reads this but oh well.)

Cya soon!

Cheers

ME (:

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The Network Society

In the industrial and pre-industrial age, people used to work according to the rhythm of biological time. Although fraught with hardship (physically), life was simple.

The network society, a dominant structure emerging in the information age introduces a new form of time: timeless time. The notion of “timeless time” is characterised by the use of new communication technologies to eradicate time by condensing “years in seconds, seconds in split seconds.” (Castells 1999)

This change in the concept of time has brought a shift in the way people now work. Work is more specialised and changeable as it is project-based. This means that the modes of work are increasingly expanding from permanent jobs to short-term, subcontract and even freelance.

Because work is now multi-sited and multi-temporal, people can do work whenever and wherever they want. However, this could provide people with a false sense of freedom.

As Harbison (2011) mentioned, new media breaks down geographical boundaries. This suggests that work/life balance is increasingly blurred in this network society as people can be called up for work related matters even on holiday.

The ‘freedom’ and mobility the network society gives us comes at a cost, but it is not to say that we should be slaves to this society.

References

Castells, M. 1999. “An Introduction to the Information Age.” In The Media Reader: continuity and transformation, edited by Hugh Mackay & TimO’Sullivan, 398-410. London: Sage.

Harbison, J. 2011. “Lets get engaged to new media.” Jessica Harbison, March 12, 2011. Accessed April 17, 2011. http://jessicaharbison.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/lets-get-enagaged-to-new-media/

DIY Health. Are we becoming our own doctors?

Health used to be an issue of the state where there was a focus on diseases and treatments. However, the concept of health has shifted from public to private as consumers are now the gatekeepers of their personal health information. The discourse of health schemes have shifted to an individual’s obligation to take charge of their own health in the form of prevention and lifestyle. (Leong 2011)

However, the abundance of medical information can be too much for a layman to understand, thereby turning to collective wisdom. It has also shifted from a private to a communal issue. (Leong 2011)

To facilitate this shift, new media acts as a source of information. People turn to search engines for answers to health problems. However, its accuracy is questionable.

Hui (2011) suggested that consumers often take the process of search engines filtering information for granted, limiting their search to the first 3 results. This suggests that consumers often regard the information from their search as accurate.

Conversely, Lewis(2006, 534) argued that users are ‘active and critical’ consumers of information online as they recognize the fact that anyone is able to put information out there.

Users should note that new media should not be regarded as a mean to an end. It should be seen as complementary to the services already provided by medical practitioners.

References

Hui, Andrew. 2011. “More Health = Better Health?” Insights From A Media Student’s Perspective, April 8, 2011. Accessed April 9 , 2011. http://mediapot.tumblr.com/post/4434348533/more-health-better-health

Leong, Susan. 2011. “KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self and Beyond: Week 6 lecture notes.”

Lewis, Tania. 2006. “Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria?” In Media, Culture & Society, volume 28, issue 4: 521-539.

Branding yourself

Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

(Shaw quoted in Leong 2011)

This cannot be more true as our lives are lived in media- we are living media lives. (Deuze 2011) People view the online world as a space where social networks are forged. Cutlack (2011) mentioned that our connections with others have important functions; they are sources of emotional and financial support, information about jobs and people.

Are our reputations then determined by our online presence?

Personal branding is nothing new in the offline world, however, in this age of information, almost anyone can be found through the Internet; therefore, it is imperative to brand ourselves online.

The Internet has made it easier to broadcast ourselves with tools such as blogs, Twitter and social networks. It allows us to be brand managers of ourselves with measurements such as subscribers and followers. (Daniels 2009)

(Taken from original source)

(Xiaxue)

(www.xiaxue.blogspot.com)

An example would be blogger, Xiaxue. She has her own online series with a media agency.  Her success in personal branding has gained her not only national, but also worldwide recognition. It has become her source of financial support as she makes money through blogging and advertorials.

Life is definitely about creating ourselves by portraying the image that we want the world to think of us.

References

Cutlack, Heidi. 2011. “Performing me: Maintaining Visibility on the Social Stage” New media: internet, self and beyond, 28 March. Accessed April 2, 2011. http://heidicutlack.tumblr.com/post/4124230030/performing-me-maintaining-visibility-on-the-social

Daniels, Matt. 2009. “Murketing: Rob Walker on why we brand ourselves,” Matt Daniels dot Com, May 11. Accessed April 2, 2011. http://www.mdaniels.com/murketing-rob-walker-on-why-we-brand-ourselves/

Deuze, Mark. 2011. “Media Life.” In Media, Culture & Society, Volume 33, issue 1, 137-148.

Leong, Susan. “KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self & Beyond: Week 5 lecture notes.”

Politics and New Media

Social media has become a coordinating tool for most of the world’s political movements; just as most authoritarian and democratic governments are trying to limit access to it (Shirky, 2011).

While it may be true for other governments, the Singapore government is loosening its control about the use of social and new media regarding politics.

Singapore is a democratic state that is mainly run by a single party. Censorship in mainstream media is nothing new as they are largely controlled and owned by the government, therefore the Internet is the best opportunity to bypass traditional media for opposition parties to get their ideas across as the majority of voters are using that platform (Wijaya, 2011).

In the last election, political parties were prohibited from using live audio and video streaming, however, recently the authorities relaxed regulations that limited the use of Internet for election campaigning.

Will political campaigning go digital instead?

Leong (2011) stated that a common criticism of politics via new media is that it is too casual and lacks commitment. This is true as “online support can give too rosy a picture and false degree of comfort” (Wijaya, 2011).

Therefore, politicians should continue to take their ground outreach seriously and use new media as a complement, rather than an answer.

References

Leong, Susan. “KCB 206 New Media: Internet, Self & Beyond: Week 4 lecture notes.” Accessed 25 March, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/

Shirky, Clay. 2011. “The Political Power of Social Media” in Foreign Affairs. n.p. Accessed 25 March, 2011. http://cmd.qut.edu.au

Wijaya, Megawati. 2011. “ Media as politics in Singapore”. Accessed 25 March, 2011. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/MC25Ae02.html

Virtual goods- The new frontier for business?

Purchasing goods. In the past, this meant buying something that was tangible or substantial. However, in recent years, businesses have found that with the increasing market in new media, charging real money for pixels on a computer screen was raking in dollars. Estimates have global virtual goods generating approximately US$3.1 billion annually with the figure set to increase to US$6 billion by 2013. (Rusak, 2010)

These goods come in the form of items to improve their performance in virtual games such as Farmville and Pet Society. These virtual games run in real-time. Therefore, people who value time and want to play at a faster pace, spend money on such items.

The selling of virtual goods might seem like a swindle, as it carries no actual value in the real world. (Miller and Stone, 2009)

Some parents however, view this differently. One family spent $20 on virtual currency to buy goods and compared it to buying toys from department stores. (Miller and Stone, 2009)

Virtual goods seem like the new frontier not only for big brands but smaller businesses. As with real-world marketing; it helps get their brands across to their target public with minimal production cost, unlimited shelf life and no shipping fees.

References

Clair C. Miller, Stone, Brad. 2009. “Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays.” The New York Times. Accessed March 18, 2011. http://factiva.com/.

Leong, Susan. “KCB 206 New Media: Internet, Self & Beyond: Week 3 lecture notes.” Accessed March 18, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/.

Rusak, Gary. 2010. “Real revenue in virtual goods.” KidScreen. Accessed March 18, 2011. http://factiva.com/.

Social networks a waste of time?

(Husain, 2011)

The rise of social networks. There is no doubt that almost everyone (except for a handful in developing countries) is, or has been part of social network. With every ‘big thing’, criticisms are not unusual.

Common criticisms:

1.     Manipulative space where users are subject to advertising and money-wasting

2.     Fosters a herd-like mentality

3.     Trivializes human relationships

4.     Addictive and time-wasting (Leong, 2011)

In reference to point 4, it is unfair to say that it is time wasting. It is true to a certain extent. This criticism seems to stereotype usage of social networks as a disruption, thus lowering the ability to accomplish ‘real’ work in their offline lives.

However, such networks can have an opposite effect. Donath and Boyd (2004) states that such networks provide people with opportunities to find information and jobs. Social networks extend beyond individuals to corporations as it harnesses the collective knowledge of employees and stimulate team building (PR Newswire, 2008).

Social networks are also valuable outside the corporate world. Such networks can also facilitate individuals looking to catch up with long-lost classmates.

Ultimately, it is up to individuals to be able to draw the line. Individuals with proper virtual/ real life balance are not likely to be susceptible to this criticism.

References

Donath, J., & Boyd, D. (2004). Public displays of connection. BT Technology Journal. (22)4, 71-82. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au. (Accessed March 13, 2011).

Husain, I. (2011). Managing your social network addiction [Image]. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/managing-your-social-network-addiction.html

Leong, S. (2011). KCB206 New Media: Internet, Self & Beyond: Week 2 lecture notes. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au. (Accessed March 13, 2011).

PR Newswire. (2008). Social Networking in the Workplace Increases Efficiency. Retrieved March 13, 2011, from ProQuest Asian Business and Reference.