Dual Identities

Throughout this module I have become interested in convergence and how different forms of media have become integrated together on one platform; the concept of social media and the idea of dual identities or dual personalities has interested me the most.

I personally believe that individuals with social media accounts are trying to be as honest as they can but only to a certain extent. Some may use it as a way of escaping their real life others try to provide you with an image or perspective about their lives.

The main issue with this is that it all falls down to the way in which someone interprets information; for example some people may upload a photo of them with an alcoholic beverage, at the time they only wished to show they were having a good time. However, some may interpret this image and look at the alcoholic drink and create this interpretation of them being an alcoholic.

Therefore, it cannot necessarily be argued that the account holder always creates a dual identity for themselves, but being part of a network like social media others are bound to create an identity for you.

The Guardian have published an interesting article about identity titled : Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?

 

Tighter restrictions may not always be the best solution

Netflix is an example of content that can only be accessed through subscription; the first month is for free but after that you need to pay monthly instalments. Many can get around this monthly payment scheme as one person can share their account details to their friends; this means everyone is using one account to access the content online. If Netflix decided to put tighter restrictions on this; for example, limiting the amount of places you can access your Netflix account, it would affect them more negatively than positive as it would deter people from using Netflix.

The other thing to consider about not having any restrictions at all is that the movie actors are not paid for their work; which is not exactly fair because people should be credited for what they have done. The advantage of having tighter restrictions is that most of the content is well protected but the limitations of this is that the tight restrictions itself will not attract many people. In my opinion businesses tend to tighten their restrictions once they have generated a particular audience; by implementing tighter restrictions in the beginning you are less likely to attract more people towards your product.

The private life that I no longer have

I am quite visible online mainly through social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. At the moment I mainly use Facebook from which I upload pictures or even share content that I think is important or makes me laugh with my friends and family members. I would like to think that this information is in my control, considering that it is my Facebook account but I know security wise it’s not possible for me to manage my account and protect it from hacking using the information that I have or photos that I have for something.

Then again, what is the point of having these social media accounts if you want to make everything private; we should see it as something that we can express ourselves and by creating privacy on these types of networks you are limiting ways in which you can express yourself. This type of information is more under our control in that sense, but if you were to look at things like information that you have to provide the council or the government; then what is done with that information is completely out of your control because there is an element of fear in terms of not knowing what they are doing with your information.

Soundcloud

Soundcloud is in my opinion a great example of an online community. There are many benefits to Soundcloud; for example, you are able to upload your own content. This can be anything from a podcast or perhaps if your a musician you may upload your own music. The fact is someone is bound to come across your work which is necessary if your looking to promote yourself. Souncloud allows you to follow others users and join groups as well as creating your own group, which is a similar structure to some social media platforms. So in that sense, there is some aspects of a community being built by you as a user on Soundcloud.

There are some limitations to this online community; for example, Soundcloud in my opinion is only targeting a particular type of audience. I’m not necessarily arguing that this is a negative or a major issue but a community should have a variety of people involved. Due to Soundcloud being about music and podcasts it doesn’t relate to that many people. As media students we can become part of that particular online community if we want to upload an audio file of ourselves. However, it is still a useful example of how online communities can function well with a specific genre.

Facebook

Facebook is a fantastic example of audience participation; there is plenty for an individual to do whilst being part of the Facebook network. Each person controls their own content; for example they decide what pictures they wish to upload to Facebook, which videos they want to upload as well as the pages they want to like. All these factors alter the way in which the individual profile appears. The benefit of users participating in social media such as Facebook, is that people are still able to like a comment or share a post that you have made with other people, so users will interact and take part with anything they feel as though is relevant at the time.

The significance of this type of participation is that if there were to be an issue that needed through Facebook, whether it is an issue with security on Facebook or whether there was something that caught peoples attention; this level of participation can act as factor that facilitates change in the way we look at or understand things. The fact that millions of people have Facebook, the immediacy to which we like a post or share a video suggests we are each others audience meaning we will continue to shape our own content.

Storify

When I was thinking of an example for media convergence; there were many that sprung to mind but I thought it would be useful to use something that may not exactly be known to many. Storify is a great example of media convergence; it is a useful tool for those who are aspiring journalists or even for those who wish to create their own stories from scratch. Storify allows individuals to search for a variety of things relating to a particular issue; for instance if you wanted to search something about David Cameron, you can look at facebook, twitter, YouTube all of which will provide you with some area that may interest you.

It is very simple to use, all you do is drag the video or images that you want to use with your story. For users in particular it allows them to make something simple and basic which anyone can follow and easily understand; the benefit is that you don’t exactly need to leave the site in order to use something, you can access everything you need there and then. You can look at other stories within the site which is another benefit and once you have finished making your story you can publish it for others to read.

 

The Business side of Social media

Businesses approach to social media (How social media can impact businesses) is beneficial for this module as it is necessary to discuss the way in which businesses can profit from social media as well as how they can become influenced from users. The post looks at the relationship between users and businesses and the ways in which businesses can improve upon their products as they create a better relationship with their customer. I thought it is useful for the module as it looks at the power of social media and how it can influence not only people but organisations as well. I find it interesting how businesses now use it as a platform to generate new business ideas; they look at which celebrities are followed the most and try get them to endorse their brand. The other interesting aspect of this is that as a consumer if you purchased something expensive and it is not necessarily what you thought its going to be, chances are you may complain on social media to let your friends know about your horrible experience with the product. This in turn is giving those companies feedback and they did not exactly have to pay for that information. So in a sense people part of the social media world are giving these businesses ideas on how to improve on something but yet are not making any money from it.