The FlowTV article is a remake of the 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial. The commercial depicts an “army” of people all wearing the same clothes and marching to the same voice of Hilary Clinton. Clinton is portrayed on a big screen, such as big media, telling all the people the same message. The people appear brain dead and just do whatever Clinton says. In the end, a girl comes in and smashes the big television and you can no longer hear what Clinton is saying.

 

The PressThink article explains how bloggers dominated the Libby trial. The public was kept in the dark about much of the trial so bloggers live blogged it. The journalists were able to get their information from the bloggers and adequately report it to the public. The overall theme of the article was to display how when bloggers unite they have the ability to make a difference. You do not need to rely on large corporations to get your news; rather dedicated bloggers can replace that.

People Power 2.0 was a very interesting article. It talked about the civil war in Libya and how a country that was kept quiet for 40 years was able to speak out and bring down Qadaffi. Libya was under heavy siege and they did not know how to fight back. Experts from around the world started to come together via twitter and other forms of internet to send information to Libya. They explained how to use weapons, make bombs, and when to attack. Slowly but surely, the Libyan freedom fighters began to bring down Qadaffi. It was very interesting to see how the internet was able to mobilize people from all over the world in a quick and organized manner. They never met each other but they all worked together and ended a horrific war.

Slate magazine was a brief read describing how the internet and news coverage favors Obama. There are rarely any bad photographs of Obama or his family. This goes along with how certain media outlets favor certain candidates. It also goes along with the Speaking in Memes article and how the public have the ability to portray a candidate however they want to.

 

Speaking in Memes was an overview of how memes have become a major part of our culture. In the last three or four years, memes have exploded onto the scene. It is an example of how the current media analyzes every little mistake a candidate makes. Instances such as the “big bird” reference in the recent debates were used in several thousand memes. The article explains how memes can take a candidates statement and blow it out of proportion.  The article explains how the memes encourage the public to be active and listen to debates. The memes are a way for people around the country to connect with one another, even if it is not in a “serious” political manner.

Response:

The FlowTV article that utilizes the remake of the 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial was a very interesting article and video for me. I found the remake using Hillary Clinton to be a very effective marketing tool. It reminded me of the “Brain-dead Megaphone” article we read last week which described our public reception as “brain-dead.” In the remake of the commercial, it depicts several people dressed the same marching to the voice of Hillary Clinton. I believe Clinton is meant to represent the large media and government so many bloggers despise. Her voice is telling everyone what to do, and all the people just march along listening. Watching this commercial it made me think; would this type of commercial work in today’s society? I think the answer is no. So often on television, negative commercials are only produced during campaign season. Although I think it would be effective, I cannot see a member of the Republican Party producing a similar video portraying Obama and the government in a negative fashion. Just this week I saw a similar video online depicting the congress as blind tortoise’s walking around aimlessly. Commercials such as these can only exist online. I do not believe major news corporations would even want to air one of these commercials. As we learned earlier, news corporations want to stick to the status quo that is making them money. If CNN were to air a similar video insulting our government,  I think it could turn viewers off.

That is why I believe the internet plays such a vital role. Amateurs are able to produce these videos and post them online and spread them to the masses. They do not need anyone’s approval to do it. This particular commercial we had to watch produced a very lengthy discussion on the Youtube channel. Albeit these conversations can very misinformed and childish, I think it is good that it breeds debate. The more citizens get involved online with politics, the more informed they will become.  I think anything that sparks debate such as this video is a positive, which was the intent of the video. The message behind it is not to listen to what everyone is telling you to do and to develop a mind of your own.

I found the PressThink article to be a very informative read about how bloggers are positively changing the media scene. The two biggest things I took away from this article were that bloggers are doing the job for free and that the press is starting to rely on bloggers for their information. I think the fact bloggers are uniting together to provide unbiased insight for a small amount of money could alter the media scene in the next ten years. In my business class we learned that corporations are always looking for ways to do things more effectively at a cheaper cost. Bloggers could be that change. They are at the forefront of stories where news outlets are relying on them for information. If large news corporations realize they have willing bloggers who are eager to report simply for the love of it and to report unbiased news, they could develop a whole medium. I also liked this article because I think it depicts bloggers and journalists as even. Some of the readings this year I have gotten the notion that journalists and bloggers are somewhat enemies. I could be wrong, but that is just how I perceived it. Rossen shows the two as equal parts, both gaining credentials and having equal opportunity. I think this is awesome as I have gained a lot more respect for bloggers after this class. I think journalists and bloggers both play an intricate role in our media culture and in this social media age both are necessary.

The People Power 2.0 was my favorite article we have read this year. It was an easy read, although sometimes I got confused with who was who, and direct to the point. The only real news I’ve heard about Benghazi was how America messed up there. I had no idea about the complex media system going on behind the scene to help Libyans escape and overthrow Qadaffi. When I think about social media and its positive impact, I only really think in terms of twitter. Sure live tweeting debates and world news is cool because it keeps people up to date and informed, but I could have never imagined it could be used like it was to aid Libya.

The article really speaks to the power of the internet and how fast people can mobilize. Little by little, key people from around the world formed an internet army to aid the Libyan people. Anonymous intelligence from Britain poured in and strategic planning from France came in. I thought it was remarkable that in just under a week a literal worldwide internet army was formed. Similar to the Ron Paul article, it shows how dedicated internet people can coexist. There was no birthday paradox where everyone has to agree or political agendas holding them back, the goal was clear; work together to bring down Qadaffi.

The main thing I took away from the article and that really struck me was the dedication. People were quitting there job and working around the clock to help people they have never met. When a Libyan woman’s husband was murdered, people from all over the world comforted her via Skype. I think more instances such as these need to happen to shed light on situations that are often overlooked. I would personally like to see strategies such as these used during times of natural disaster. The most effective one I can recall is the Chinese earthquake relief. In just over a day they received millions in aid and had superstars such as LeBron James endorsing them. Sometimes I wish this happened more domestically, but that’s another subject!

I found the speaking in Memes and Shit People Say articles and videos to be very entertaining. They shed a light on the humorous side of politics that are emerging during the social media age. I think these videos and memes illustrate the current culture of American politics and social media. I think it shows what our country values and is an escape from boring political pundits. In our current society, I do not believe we want our president to be perfect anymore. Rather, we value an average guy who talks like us and can laugh at himself. It also shows how American’s love to over analyze situations. During the course of a campaign, candidates make hundreds of appearances and say thousands of different things. If one thing is a bit whacky or off, our society pounces on it and exposes it.  The memes and videos themselves are perfect for Americans; they are short and entertaining. As a result, they spread like wild fire. I think memes and these videos are necessary. I know personally I like to watch Colbert Report because it is entertaining yet I get a general idea of what is going on in the world. I think a lot of people in our society are out of touch with current events. Memes , despite their lack of true journalism or substance for that matter, provide an insight. When someone logs onto Facebook and someone has shared a meme on their timeline, They are likely to open it. As a result, they will have a general idea of what is going on in the world if it is politically based. As sad as this is and that this is what it takes to get Americans involved, it is a start.

The one negative aspect Agger described about Memes is that often the wrong message goes viral. Millions of Facebook users will be exposed to inaccurate information and believe that it is true. As a result people will often me misinformed. Although Agger cites this is a negative side, I do not buy into it. If people are relying on Memes for there daily news, that in itself is wrong and just lazy.

 

Finally, I think it was fair for Slate magazine to say the internet loves Obama. I think it was fair to say people like Obama because he is “black and cool.” I know several people my senior year who had their first opportunity to vote and voted Obama simply because it was the cool thing to do. There were several songs such as Young Jeezy’s “My president is black” and cool tee shirts depicting Obama. Sportscenter did a whole a special on how Obama plays basketball every day and goes to several White Sox games. It felt as if Obama and pop culture were synonymous, that voting for Obama had become the “it” thing to do.

 

Questions: Do you believe Memes provide any beneficial aspects for campaigns and politics?

 

What is your favorite aspect about the People Power 2.0 article?

 

Where do you think Memes will be in ten years?

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